Getting older isn’t any cause for celebration, for me anyway :(, I swear I just feel too old, the only good thing is I don’t look my age (which can be a good, however when your still getting ID’d for alcohol, I’m like REALLY?!!!!) but as birthdays go, it’s about treating yourself and for me it’s having good tasty food and to pair it with nice drinks ;).
With family coming over, to celebrate I wanted to treat myself and them. As it was for my birthday, it had to be something chocolatey of course! the only problem is half my lot don’t like chocolate as much, so it was going to be interesting to see how much would be leftover :0, which I was dreading but thought I will deal with that later! As I’m not such a meanie, I also made a non-chocolate dessert and just as indulgent Lotus Biscoff Cheesecake. Anyway back to the Brooklyn Blackout Cake, I’ve had a copy of the hummingbird cook book for some many years now and whilst looking through all them years ago I spotted the cake. It’s a moment when you stop and stare at something and admire it’s beauty and think WOW! this cake was just that moment, it’s amazing, like seriously amazinggggggggg. Obviously, I couldn’t replicate it to it’s full beauty but it’s worth giving it a go.
Reading the description of the cake made it just more tempting…this is a must for chocolate lovers, the filling and frosting are made from an eggless chocolate custard….hold up! they had me at chocolate custard, oh man!!!! but I also love the effect of the crumbled cake crumbles that are liberally scattered over the cake, it finishes it off and gives it a very dark but elegant look.
The cake has a history behind which I didn’t realise:
Ebinger Baking Company , with a chain of stores across the Brooklyn borough, was founded in 1898 by George and Catherine Ebinger. Famous for their cakes and pies, and especially their Blackout Cake, they closed in bankruptcy on August 26, 1972. The cake is named for the wartime blackouts.
I wasn’t so bothered about making the chocolate cake, which should be a simple affair but after researching over the web I found that the custard is very tricky and it can make or break the whole cake!!!….ekkkkkkkkkkkk!!!! It can be hard to get it smooth and without out lumps, but there are ways to rectify it if it does go wrong, so don’t worry. Before I started to make it I was having soooo much anxiety over making this bloody custard (yes I know, who has anxiety over that?) I really was worried it wouldn’t turn out, BUTTTTTTTTTT it worked out and I was ever so grateful :) :) :) if in doubt I would make the custard the day before. The funny thing is the recipe for their cake didn’t work out hahaha which was funny but not funny!. I didn’t like it, it was dry and slightly crispy around the edges and there’s me thinking that making the cake would be a breeze, how wrong was I?. Luckily I had my tried and tested and overly used chocolate cake recipe I made which was worked out fine. I should have made this from the beginning but I thought the custard wouldn’t hold the cake very well, as the chocolate cake recipe I use is very very moist.
**IMPORTANT: I made the cake in two tins and cut them in half therefore one of the quarters could be processed in the food processor, I would say that if you want to resemble those very fine crumbs there isn’t any other way then using the food processor I’m afraid, if you don’t have a food processor then it will be difficult to get those crumb your after and I’m not sure if theres another way around it.**
As for the family, luckily everyone seemed to enjoy the cake, I think it was the introduction of the chocolate custard which made it unusual and got everyone interested. Surprisingly there wasn’t as much as I thought left over, happy me. Saying that I had a lot of the chocolate custard left over and I would recommend making half the amount.
This cake is very moist, rich, gooey, dark, custardy and I loved it :). It would be better to have some cream on the side and you only need a small slither.
Brookyln Blackout Cake
A rich, deep, dark, custardy, chocolately cake.
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- For the Cake:*
- 100g - Unsalted butter, softened
- 260g - Caster sugar
- 2 - Eggs
- 1/4 - Vanilla extract
- 45g - Cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp - baking powder
- 3/4 tsp - baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 170g - plain flour
- 160ml - milk
- Chocolate custard:**
- 500g - Caster sugar
- 1 tbsp - Golden syrup
- 125g - Cocoa powder
- 200g - Cornflour
- 85g - unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 tsp - vanilla extract
For the custard
- 1. In a large (whiskable) saucepan. Add the sugar, golden syrup, cocoa powder and 600ml of water and bring to boil over a medium heat, whisking occasionally.
- 2. In a small bowl mix the cornflour with 120-200ml of water, whisking as you add the water. The consistency should be like glue and if it's too thick as a little more water but not exceeding 250ml.
- 3. Add the cornflour mix to the cocoa mix, whisking until constantly, bring to the boil and keep whisking until it becomes quite thick. (this took a while so be patient).
- 4. Once it has thickened remove from heat, add the butter and vanilla then pour into a bowl and cover with cling film and chill until very firm.
For the cake
- 1. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer. Place the butter and sugar and cream until light and fluffy.
- 2. Add the eggs one at a time, and making sure you scrape the sides of the mixing bowl.
- 3. Turn down the mixer and add the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla extract until mixed well.
- 4. Add half the flour, then all the milk then the remaining flour, mix until well combined.
- 5. Divide between the two tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, check with a cake tester to make sure it's cooked.
- 6. Leave to cool completely.
- Assembly the cake.
- 1. Using a segrated knife, cut each cake into half. To make the cake crumbs using one of the quarters place roughly over half the cake into a food processor (I didn't use the whole quarter but you may) and blend until you achieve fine crumbs.
- 2. This cake needs to be refrigerated to set, as it's tall I suggest you put it on a cake board or if you enough space in your fridge (lucky you) and you can place it on a cake plate! Start by placing one of the quarters on the cake stand/plate and spread 1/4 of the custard over one of the layers of cake. Repeating for the other two layers. Then top off with custard and around the sides.
- 3. Finally pat the crumbs all around the cake with your hands straight away. Leave to set for 2 hours. Before serving the cake take it out the fridge to come to room temperature at least 2 hours before.
- * I have put the original cake recipe on here but I wasn't a huge fan and made my standard chocolate cake. Recipe for the cake in is a link above.
- ** I would suggest you half this recipe as I had huggggeeeee amount left over.
Adapted from Humming Bird Cookbook
Adapted from Humming Bird Cookbook
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