Few things can beat a good chocolate cake. I’d heard of Brooklyn Blackout Cakes before, but I figured it was just a really over the top chocolate cake. I had no clue it involved pudding, cake crumbs, and that the name in no way relates the chocolate in the cake!!
Here’s a brief snippet of history behind the name of this cake! This cake concept was developed by the Ebinger Baking Company during World War II. Civilian black out drills were being practiced in Brooklyn to ensure that light from the city wasn’t reflecting on US ships off the coast, giving away their position. Ebinger got creative with their marketing and named their cake after these drills. Their cake was filled with pudding, covered in a fudge frosting, and coated with cake crumbs!!
To honor the original cake concept, I’ve made this with chocolate sponge cake layers (soaked in chocolate simple syrup), filled with a chocolate pudding, and covered in a milk chocolate ganache.
I used a few of my favorite recipes, along with some new recipes to create this cake. This was my first time making pudding from scratch, and I tried a few recipes before I found one I was happy with. I highly recommend making it yourself, but if you’re short on time, you can always substitute in boxed pudding.
- 1 batch (4 lbs) of Yolanda Gampp’s chocolate sponge cake recipe (trimmed cake tops crumbed and reserved)
- 1 cup chocolate simple syrup (1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar dissolved together, + 3 TBSP cocoa)
- 1 batch chocolate pudding
- 1 batch milk chocolate ganache (650 grams milk chocolate, melted down with 217 grams heavy cream) – to be made in advance
- 1 cup chocolate frosting (1 cup American buttercream plus 2 Tbsp cocoa, and 2 additional tsp heavy cream)
Make the milk chocolate ganache first, as it needs at least a few hours to cool and set. To make, simply place both the chocolate and heavy cream in a heat proof bowl, and heat it for 30 second increments (stirring between). Usually after about 2 minutes of heat, all the chocolate is melted. Once the mixture is fully incorporated, place plastic wrap over the top of the ganache, and let it sit at room temperature. Before adding the room temperature ganache to a cake, I give it a slow stir with a spatula.
I also recommend making the chocolate simple syrup in advance. It needs time to cool before it can be used, and preparing it ahead of time makes the following day a bit easier. Place the sugar and water in a pot, and bring to a simmer. Once the sugar has dissolved, mix in the cocoa, and turn off the heat. Place in a sealed Tupperware container in the fridge overnight.
Bake 4, 7-inch round cake layers using Yo’s chocolate cake recipe and instructions. Allow layers to cool fully before leveling. Place pans into the freezer for 1 hour, to accelerate the cooling process, and lock in the moisture.
While the layers bake, make the chocolate pudding. Combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan; slowly mix in the milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue stirring for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat, and stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour the pudding into a separate bowl, and press plastic wrap directly onto surface to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the fridge to cool.
After the cake layers are baked and fully cooled, level the cakes by cutting off the tops using a serrated knife. Place cake tops in a large bowl, and crumb using a fork. Set aside. Use a large, sterile paint brush to douse the cake layers with a generous coat of chocolate simple syrup.
Next, it’s time to assemble the cake! Place the ganache into a piping bag, and pipe a ring around the perimeter of the cake layer.
Scoop about 3/4 of a cup of pudding into the center of the cake layer, and use an offset spatula to evenly spread it out to the ganache boarder.
Repeat this process with the remaining cake layers. Once stacked, cover the cake with a thick layer of chocolate ganache, and smooth with a bench scrapper. Place chocolate cake crumbs around the base of the cake.
Use a large frosting tip (I used an Ateco 869) to pipe a boarder of chocolate frosting around the top of the cake, then fill the center with additional cake crumbs.
Then cut in and enjoy! This cake was DELICIOUS! I brought in the leftovers for my coworkers, and they couldn’t get enough of it 🙂