This Black Forest Cake was made immensely famous by the video game Portal released by Valve. In the game, our protagonist Chell is constantly taunted by GlaDOS with the reward of food and prizes should she complete her testing. The popular meme “The Cake is a Lie” is born from this series. It’s said that the actual cake was inspired by a Black Forest Cake that the developers of Valve saw at a local bakery whilst in development of the game. For our recipe, we did just that! The actual recipe for the cake is provided as an easter egg in the game in a couple of different places. The actual instructions are as well, so we structure the entire video around that. First GlaDOS calls for you to make a regular box cake, then bake the remainder of the cake layers from scratch. Easy enough! Top it with some maraschino cherries and you’ve got a winner!
From actual in-game recipe, taken from http://www.planetfortress.com/dfa/portal-recipe.html
- 1 (18.25 oz) package chocolate cake mix
- 1 can prepared coconut frosting
- ¾ cups vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup butter or margarine, softened
- 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cups cocoa
- &func14; teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- &func14; teaspoon baking powder
- &func13; cups water
- 1 to 2 (6 oz each) vanilla frosting
- 8 Maraschino Cherries (not in recipe, but necessary)
- 1 white candle (not in recipe, but necessary)
Don’t forget garnishes, such as:
- fish shaped crackers
- fish shaped candies
- fish shaped dirt
- fish shaped solid waste
- fish shaped ethyl benzene
- pull and peel licorice
- fish shaped volatile organic compounds
- sediment shaped sediment
- a 20-foot thick impermeable clay layer
This one’s a bit tough to understand so let’s break it down. The recipe actually a composite of two! The first being the simple box cake. Following the instructions on the box cake (18.25 oz package chocolate cake mix) combine it with the vegetable oil, eggs, and water in a mixing bowl. Pour it into two floured and ready cake pans and bake it according to the instructions on the box. Usually this is 350F for 30-40 minutes. To check if the cake is ready, stick a toothpick in it and slowly pull it out – if there’s no residue on the toothpick then your cake is fully baked! If there is residue, leave it in for a little longer, checking back sporadically.
Now that we’ve completed the box cake, it’s onto figuring out how to use the rest of the ingredients to make the remainder of the cake from scratch. Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl then cream them together by mixing until thoroughly combined. Then add your 4 large eggs, one at a time, followed by your vanilla extract. In a separate bowl add your dry ingredients together (flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, baking powder). Add this to the rest of the mixture then put in 1/3 cup of water. Remember to scrape off the sides if the ingredients get stuck there and keep mixing.
Pour out the cake batter into a cake pan and set it in the oven at 350F for 30-40 minutes.
While the cakes are baking, prepare your chocolate flakes. Melt your chocolate chips in your microwave or a double boiler. A double boiler is made by submerging one pot (with the chips) inside a larger pot (with enough water to cover the sides) and heating the water below. This will make sure that your chocolate chips do not stick to the side of the pot and will melt evenly. Keep stirring until they’re fully melted.
Then on a large cookie sheet, pour out the melted chips and smooth them out with a dough scraper or knife. Let it cool at room temperature or place it in your freezer. When the melted chips are solid again, remove it from the cookie sheet and begin to cut them up into small chunks, working your way slowly across. Place your new chocolate flakes in a bowl and put it in your refrigerator so they will stay firm.
When all three of your cakes have been done, carefully lay them out and use a cake leveler or a large knife to take off the rounded tops of each so they are as flat as possible. This way when you stack them it won’t topple or lean to one side. Next use either vanilla frosting (in the recipe) or chocolate frosting to evenly layer the tops of each cake as you stack them on top of each other. Once that’s done, coat the entire outside of the cake with coconut pecan frosting.
Remove your chocolate flakes from the fridge and coat them around the entire cake with your hands. This can get a bit messy.
Scoop some vanilla frosting into a ziploc bag. Cut off a corner and use this to dollop your cake with 8 small circles and 1 circle in the middle. Remove the stems from your maraschino cherries and place them on top. Place your white candle in the middle, light it up, and enjoy your Portal Cake! This sucker is incredibly rich, so cut small slices and eat slowly! Wouldn’t want GLaDOS to comment on your weight!