Before I get down to the business of baking, I want to give a huge shout out to a couple of amazing ladies who were an integral part of this blog tranformation:
– Kaytlyn at Beneficial Design: Kaytlyn is the architect of this web overhaul. Kaytlyn dispensed a ton of fantastic and practical ideas as this site was developed. She had the patience of a saint and kept me focused as I changed my mind a hundred times throughout the process. You rock Kaytlyn!
~ Kelley Lilien: Kelley is fellow Southern Californian and the creative mastermined behind the new logo. I had a ton of fun working with Kelley as we brainstormed ideas, and her enthusiasm and excitement for the project was infectious. Thank you Kelley! BTW, Kelley is a gal with exceptional taste…check out her uber stylish site Mrs. Lilien.
I wanted to bake something special to mark this move, so a cake was in order. And not just any cake… a mini-cake! I’ve had this recipe for Brooklyn Blackout Cake marked in The Cake Book by Tish Boyle for eons, and it was time to get in the kitchen and bake it up. If you haven’t baked from this book, you’ve got to check it out. The book contains so many delicious sounding cakes recipes, and even the more complicated recipes are written in a clear, concise and easy to follow manner.
One of the best things about this book is that the dry measurements are detailed both by volume and by weight. I love using a scale to measure out dry ingredients – it provides super accurate measurements and no measuring cups need to be washed.
If I had to bake cake for a chocoholic, this would be it! In between the layers of super moist, super chocolately cake is a chocolate pudding filling. Man, I could eat a bowl of that filling on its own. If this wasn’t enough chocolate, the whole thing is covered with a rich chocolate buttercream. My only challenge was maintaining the structure of the cake. Perhaps I should have let the cake sit in the fridge to set before cutting? Sure, it was a little messy, but I think this is a case where taste trumps looks.
BROOKLYN BLACKOUT CAKE
adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle
makes one 9 inch cake
For The Cake
1½ cups (6.4 oz/181 g) all purpose flour
1 cup (2.9 oz/85 g) natural (not Dutch-processed) cocoa powder
½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (14 oz/400 g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
½ cup (1 stick/4 oz/113 g) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) hot brewed coffee
For the Chocolate Pudding Filling
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup (4.6 oz/132 g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) water
2/3 cup (160 ml) heavy cream
3 ounces (85 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Frosting
4 ounces (113 g) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
11 tablespoons (5.5 oz/156 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups (6.7 oz/191 g) confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Make The Cake
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans.
Add the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix the dry ingredients 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 egg mixture to the dry ingredients in a steady steam. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat at medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the hot coffee, mixing just until blended (the batter will be loose and liquidy). Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly.
Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks and cool completely.
Make The Filling
Beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt using an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and pale, 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. Whisk this mixture back into the remaining cream mixture in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to cook for another 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 extract. Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled.
Put the chocolate in a medium stainless steel bowl and place over a pot of barely simmering water. Heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl from the pot and set the chocolate aside to cool until tepid.
Beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl 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. Place one cake layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Whisk the chilled filling until smooth. Using a small offset metal spatula, spread half of the filling over 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 of the fourth and final cake layer into large pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor (save the remainder half of the cake layer for snacking). Process the cake into fine crumbs, and set aside.
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 cake crumbs over the top of the cake. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. The cake cane be stored loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.