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5 from 4 votes

Westin's Brooklyn Light Show Cake (Death by Chocolate Cake)

Dark chocolate cake with peanut butter cookie dough, chocolate covered graham cracker clusters and chocolate fudge frosting.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: Chocolate Cake, Chocolate covered graham crackers, Chocolate fudge frosting, Dark Chocolate Cake, Fudge Frosting, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (165 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons (175 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (54 g) dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (54.5 g) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.1 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (118.3 g) hot water or coffee

For the Chocolate Covered Graham Cracker Clusters

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups (150 g) graham cracker crumbs (I buy the reground crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup Malted Milk Powder THIS is what I used
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 ounces dark or semi sweet chocolate chips, melted

For the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (180 g) peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (115 g) cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) milk

For the Fudge Buttercream

  • 1 1/4 cups (169.5 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (125 g) powdered sugar, measured then sifted
  • 3/4 cup (75 g) dark cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (276 g) light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) vanilla extract
  • 10 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 teaspoons (3 g) salt
  • *** I used a lot of fudge frosting in my cake, but if you're worried about it being too much, you can cut the recipe in half.

Instructions

For the Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a quarter sheet pan and line it with parchment and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix for about 30 seconds.
  • In a separate bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients and whisk for a few seconds.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Once all the wet ingredients are added, continue to mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another 15 to 30 seconds. Don't over beat this batter.
  • Pour the batter into a quarter sheet baking pan. Bake the cake for 15-20 minutes.

For the Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, malted milk powder, brown sugar, and salt.
  • Pour the melted butter into the bowl and toss to coat the crumbs until they are “wet.”
  • Spread the crumbs over the parchment paper and bake for 7 minutes, at which point you’ll toss the crumbs with a fork, and bake again for another 7 minutes.
  • When the crumbs are done baking, toss the mixture again and then allow the crumbs to cool completely.
  • Combine the cooled graham cracker crumbs / clusters and the melted chocolate into a mixing bowl. Toss to coat the graham crackers.
  • Pour the coated graham crackers over a sheet of parchment paper to set.

For the Cookie Dough

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter until smooth.
  • Mix in the brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and salt and continue to mix until combined.
  • Gradually add the milk and mix. The texture will be a lot like cookie dough and you'll likely have to use your hands to spread it out onto the cake when stacking.

For the Fudge Buttercream

  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips in the microwave for about a minute. Stir until smooth and silky.
  • In food processor, combine the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt. Mix until smooth, about 30 to 60 seconds, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl about half way through.
  • Add corn syrup and vanilla and mix until just combined, about 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then add the melted chocolate. Pulse until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.
  • This frosting will get darker as it sets.

Assembly

  • Put a piece of parchment on the counter. Invert chocolate cake onto it and peel off the parchment from the bottom side of the cake. Use a 6-inch cake ring to stamp out 2 circles from the cake, one on each corner area of the cake. You’ll then stamp two half circles from the remaining areas.
  • Clean the cake ring and place it in the center of a sheet pan lined with clean parchment. Use 1 strip of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring. (This is essential, as it is going to support the cake as you layer all the amazing elements.)
  • Place the two half circles inside the ring. Use extra scraps to fill in the center of the circle, using the back of your hand to push the cake crumbs into place.
  • Take 1/3 of the peanut butter cookie dough and spread/shape over the chocolate cake, making sure to spread up against the acetate.
  • Sprinkle 1/3 of the chocolate graham cracker cluster evenly over the cookie dough and use the back of your hand to anchor them in place.
  • Use the back of a spoon to spread about 1/2 cup of the fudge frosting evenly over the graham cracker cluster layer.
  • With your index finger, gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the top 1/4 inch of the first strip of acetate, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5 to 6 inches tall - high enough to support the height of the finished cake.
  • Set a full chocolate cake round on top of the graham cracker crumbs and repeat these steps above (cake, peanut butter cookie dough, graham cracker clusters, fudge frosting, last cake layer, peanut butter cookie dough, graham cracker clusters, fudge frosting).
  • Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer and freeze for a minimum of 3 hours to set the cake and the fillings. The cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
  • At least three hours before you are ready to serve the cake, pull the sheet pan out of the freezer. Using your fingers and thumb, pop the cake out of the cake ring and gently peel off the acetate.