brooklyn blackout cake

You’d think that since the holidays have come and gone that I would lighten up on the baking right?  Or at least … bake lighter things?  Nah.  Where’s the fun in that?!  Plus … I think this cake is worth breaking any New Years resolutions.  This cake is worth the calories.  This cake is worth hosting a dinner party with your closest friends and wowing them.  Because you will wow them.

Plus … it’s a small cake.  How much damage can a 6-inch, 3 layered cake do?  ;0)

I heart many things about this cake:

1.  The chocolate custard.  Sick.  As in … too good, can’t get enough, want to run my finger across the bowl and lick up any remnants of it.

2.  It looks awesome.  And it’s easy to make it look awesome.

3.  The cake batter smells ridiculously decadent.  I couldn’t get over how chocolately it was.  And I was pleased at how moist it turned out … I was really afraid I was going to end up with a really dense, dry cake.  Nope.  Moist and delicious.

4.  It’s from the hummingbird bakery cookbook – which I love.

brooklyn blackout cake


6 1/2 tbsp butter, at room temperature

1 1/4 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 1/3 c. flour, sifted

2/3 c. milk

Preheat your oven to 325 F.  Spray your baking pans with non-stick spray.  I used 6-inch rounds – the original recipe says that you should get 8-inch rounds … the layers would be very thin … I recommend the smaller cake, thicker layers are easier to handle.  Set aside.

Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand-mixer, creaming until light and fluffy (use your paddle attachment).  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping the sides after each addition.

Ensure that the mixer is on the slow speed, and beat in the vanilla, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well blended.  Add half the flour – mix – all of the milk – mix – the rest of the flour – finishing mixing until everything is well combined.

Pour the batter into each pan – ensuring that you evenly distribute it.  Bake for 25 – 30 minutes – you’ll know it’s ready when you stick a toothpick in the centre and it comes out clean.  Do the test – since the cake is quite dark and is quite moist.

Allow to cool slightly in the pans on a wire rack, before turning out of the pans and cooling completely.

Time to make the custard.  Please do as I say … not as I did.  I didn’t read the instructions clearly – and tossed everything into the large saucepan – it created lumps and so I had to give it another shot.  Actually … I didn’t give it another shot.  I let it firm up and then beat the heck out of it the following day.  It was fine.  But if lumps are a deal breaker for you – follow the instructions exactly.

chocolate custard


2 1/2 c. sugar

1 tbsp corn syrup

1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 c. cornstarch

3 c. water

5 1/2 tbsp butter, cubed

1/2 tsp vanilla

Grab a LARGE saucepan.  Combine the sugar, corn syrup, cocoa and 2 1/2 cups water in the pan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisk occasionally.

Mix the cornstarch and the remaining water, whisking until the cornstarch dissolves.  Add this mixture into the large saucepan.  Bring everything back to a boil, whisking constantly.  Cook until very thick, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.  Pour the custard into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap – having the plastic wrap flush against the custard.  Chill in the fridge until very firm (I let mine sit overnight).

When you are ready to assemble the cake, pull out the custard.

Grab your serrated knife, and slice a layer off each of the cake rounds – it’ll level the cake, plus you’ll need those pieces.  Place these layers in your food processor and pulse until you get fine crumbs.  You’ll need these to decorate the cake.  Set aside.

Put one cake round on your plate and spread about 1/2 cup of the custard over it with a rubber spatula.  Top with the second round, spread more custard on top, and then top with the third round. 

Spread the custard on top of this round, as well as all over the sides. 

Start covering with the cake crumbs – it makes a little mess … but the effect is so totally worth it.

Chill the cake for at least 2 hours.

Then you are ready to serve.

Pretty fantastic eh?

Make this cake.  Have a slice.  Don’t feel guilty.  Bundle up, go for a walk.  And then have another slice of cake.  It’s that good.

5 thoughts on “brooklyn blackout cake

  1. Pingback: this weekend. « heartful mouthful

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