Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Brooklyn Blackout Cake


Life is messy.

It is hard.

But it's the messy and hard things that get us where we need to be.

Nothing that is worth having comes easily right??

My life feels a bit of a mess lately. The Hubble was home for a couple weeks but now he's gone again. We won't see him for another 5 months (hopefully).

Currently, the kids and I are struggling to get back into our groove. Little Butt has been a bit wild and Baby N has been a bit whiny. To me, it feels like it's been weeks since he left instead of days. Has it only been days? Or has it been weeks? Who even knows anymore?

You want to know what else is messy? Baking.

Or at least, baking this cake was messy.

This cake and I?? We have this love hate thing going on.

I hate this cake because it is messy...and hard and ridiculous. I had to bake the cakes twice because the centers on the first batch sank so low there was no way to make layers. I dropped chocolate all over the floor when I was making the pudding. When I assembled the cake, it was slipping and sliding all over the place because the pudding center is soft instead of firm.

I love this cake because it's messy...and rich and forgiving. Yes, I made the cakes twice, but that meant I had sunken cakes to cut up and make into a trifle for Father's Day. Yes, I dropped chocolate all over the floor, but it was easy to clean up and the pudding didn't suffer for it. Yes, it was slipping and sliding all over the place and when I frosted it the pudding mixed with the frosting in some parts, but I didn't have to worry about the pudding showing or a crumb coat because you cover the whole thing in crumbs anyway!

This cake was the top pick for June for The Cake Slice Bakers. It is a 3 layer cake with a chocolate pudding filling and chocolate frosting smothered in chocolate cake crumbs. The cake itself is dense and fudgy, almost like a brownie. The pudding filling was smooth and creamy. The chocolate frosting was fluffy and rich. The whole thing was a chocolate lover's dream (though I was asked where the chocolate syrup was, the syrup made it onto the Dad's Day trifle).

Personally, I thought it was too rich and only had a bite or two. I don't believe my opinion should count though since I don't really care for chocolate. Give me lemon or pumpkin over chocolate any day and I'll be happy.

However, I didn't really make this cake for me. My nephew recently turned 17 and he asked for something chocolaty and fudgy. So, I obliged. And I didn't hear any complaints from the many chocolate lovers in my family (I've always been the odd ball in my family so there are a lot of them).

If you are looking for a rich, delicious, messy, forgiving cake to enjoy and share with the chocolate lover in your life look no further. I have the recipe you need!

Let's bake!

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients in a steady stream.

Then mix in the hot coffee until just blended.

Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture up from the bottom to make sure it's thoroughly combined.

Evenly distribute among your 2 prepared pans and bake them up. Then cool them down.

Now we move on to the pudding filling. Beat together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water and cream then bring to a boil.

Whisk half the cream mixture into the yolk mixture...

Then turn around and whisk that all back into the saucepan. Whisk constantly and bring the whole thing back to a boil and whisk and boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until fully melted.

And of course, stop to take a picture of the huge mess you made while dumping the chocolate all over the floor and table.

Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl. Then stir in the vanilla.

Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight. You want this to be thoroughly chilled.

And finally, the frosting.

Melt some chocolate then cream your butter and add in the powdered sugar. Beat that up until light and fluffy...

Then beat in the vanilla and chocolate. Viola!

Now to assemble the cake. Cut the 2 cakes horizontally to make 4 cake layers. Set one layer aside.

Place one cake layer on a serving platter, cut side up. Top with half the chilled pudding mixture. Add a cake layer then spread remaining pudding on that layer. Top with the third layer and frost that 3 layer cake with the frosting.

Place half of the fourth cake layer (eat the other half) into a food processor and process until you have cake crumbs. Press the cake crumbs into the sides and top of the cake.

I made this cake for my nephew's 17th birthday. I mean, what's messier than a 17 year old boy anyway?? LOL! He loved that it was chocolate cake with chocolate pudding with chocolate frosting with chocolate cake crumbs. The only thing missing was the chocolate syrup!

Slice, serve, and enjoy!!

Brooklyn Blackout Cake
Adapted from The Cake Book

Printer Friendly Version


For the Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
For the Pudding Filling
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Frosting
  • 4 ounces unsweetened or semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. MAKE THE CAKE: Position rack to the center of the oven. Preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round baking pans with baking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar until blended.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients in a slow, steady stream.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula then mix on medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute.
  6. Add the hot coffee and mix until just blended.
  7. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and, using a rubber spatula, stir the batter up from the bottom of the bowl a few times to thoroughly blend. (The batter will be quite runny by now).
  8. Evenly distribute the batter into the cake pans and smooth tops if needed.
  9. Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  10. Cool cakes in the pans for 10 minutes then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
  11. MAKE THE PUDDING FILLING: In the clean bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, on medium speed, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until pale, about 1 minute.
  12. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water and cream, bring to a boil.
  13. Remove pan from heat and whisk about half the mixture into the yolk mixture then whisk the yolk and cream mixture back into the saucepan and the remaining cream mixture.
  14. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture reaches a boil. Continue to whisk constantly and boil for 1 minute. 
  15. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until completely melted. 
  16. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl then stir in the vanilla extract.
  17. Cover with plastic wrap making sure the surface of the pudding mixture is well covered. 
  18. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  19. MAKE THE FROSTING: Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Microwave chocolate, stopping to stir every 10-15 seconds, until fully melted. Set aside.
  20. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, on medium speed, cream the butter about 1 minute.
  21. With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar until just blended, increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
  22. Beat in the vanilla and chocolate until well blended and creamy, about 1 minute more.
  23. ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Using a long, serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Set one layer aside.
  24. Place one cake layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Stir the chilled filling until smooth then spread half of the filling over the cake layer.
  25. Top with another cake layer and spread the remaining filling over it. Top that with the final cake layer, smooth side up.
  26. Take the fourth cake layer and break it in half. Place half of this layer into a food processor and process until it becomes crumbs (go ahead and eat the other half of that layer, you know you want to).
  27. Using a small, offset metal spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake with frosting.
  28. Pat a generous amount of cake crumbs along the side of the cake, pressing the crumbs lightly into the frosting. Then sprinkle and pat the crumbs onto the top of the cake.
  29. Slice, serve, and enjoy! 
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