So you may remember a recent post where I mentioned I don’t really have a thing for cake. At least not rich over the top cakes like this one (I do love a good Bundt cake). This has not changed, but when you turn to your husband on a late July afternoon and ask “So, what kind of cake do you want for your birthday this year?” And his answer is “Chocolate. Pure chocolate everything”. Well, that’s when you pull out all the stops.
Last year I think we were both a little caked out from our wedding, so we opted to forgo a traditional birthday cake for a raw chocolate raspberry tart. It was an amazing treat and one I should make again soon, maybe with blackberries this year.
For the most part the recipes I post here are the ones we eat everyday, our diet is naturally full of healthy, homemade meals. But sugar and butter filled cakes like this one do come around once in awhile for a special occasion. We shared most of this cake with a handful of good friends and the rest was eaten by us at home. I enjoyed my fare share, but honestly it’s the pudding-like filling that I couldn’t get enough of. So here’s to my husband, wishing you a very happy (chocolate-filled) birthday and many more to come. Love -J
Brooklyn Blackout Cake / serves 10-12
Adapted from The Cake Book
I’ve only made a few slight changes to the original recipe, but the cake came out super moist and the filling nice and creamy. I’m not a huge frosting person, but everyone seemed to love it. I personally think the cake is best served at room temperature, but on a nice hot day in August anything slightly chilled is probably welcome. This cake involves a few steps, but if you’ve made a layer cake before you can make this one too. I made the cake and pudding the night before, allowing them both to cool and chill thoroughly before assembling. You can make the cake all in one day, but I think it helps and is easier to make it in two.
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cane sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar mixed with a scant 1 cup almond milk)
1/2 cup (1stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water or hot brewed coffee
Position a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350F. Grease the bottom and sides of 2 9-inch round cake pans. I highly suggest place a round piece of greased parchment in the bottom as well. Then dust with flour and shake our excess.
Sift together flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the sugar and using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until blended.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. At low speed, add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients in a steady stream. Scrape down the sides, then beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until everything is well blended. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in the hot water/coffee from the bottom up a few times to thoroughly incorporate. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly and make sure the tops are smooth by gently tapping on the counter a couple times.
Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire rack, then invert and allow to cool completely.
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup cane sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Rinse and dry the mixing bowl that you made the cake batter in. Using the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute.
In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the water and cream and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk about half of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture in the saucepan just to combine, this helps to temper the eggs. Add the remaining cream mixture and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to boil, whisking for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until completely melted.
Pass the filling through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Stir in the vanilla. Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled. I made mine the day before and left in the fridge overnight.
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
11 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place the chocolate in a double broiler. Heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl from the pot and set the chocolate aside to cool until tepid.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter a medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping the side down as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate, then beat until well blended and creamy, about 1 minute.
assemble the cake
Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half horizontally, to make 4 layers. Reserve one layer. Place another layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Whisk the chilled filling until smooth. Using a small offset spatula, spread half the filling over the the layer. Top with another cake layer and spread it with the remaining filling. Top with a third cake layer, smooth side up.
Break half the reserved cake layer into large pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until the cake becomes fine crumbs and set aside. (the last half of the cake is for you to snake on).
Using a narrow metal spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting. Pat a generous amount of cake crumbs onto the sides of the cake, pressing them lightly into the frosting. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the top of the cake. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
Store finished cake loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.