Friday, February 25, 2011

Blackout Cake

Hello! I'm sure returning readers will notice the dramatic change in header. As much as I liked my ravenous fox, I wanted something simpler, and I was kind of sick of the lettering. Also no more "magical" bakeshop. Sorry folks, seek your elixirs and concoctions elsewhere.

For posterity's sake, here is the old header:

I'm fiddling around with the design of the rest of the blog, trying to figure out how to replace the words/links in the sidebar and navigation bar with little hand drawn words and foxes. I'll let you in on a secret: I'm no great shakes at computer stuff. (I'm 25, btw, I guess I should be good at computers.) So if anybody knows how to do the custom buttons, for heaven's sake please let me know- its proving difficult.

So soon I'm going to gift you with a post that includes a list of the frostings you should definitely have in your repertoire. Silly me, I used to think frosting was just powdered sugar and vanilla and butter beaten together, (this was after I realized that there is life beyond canned frosting, which I am not knocking- rainbow chip frosting is soooo gooood). It turns out that there are so many options and techniques when it comes to frosting! I've written about most of them before so I can just link to those posts, but there's one I've neglected to tell you about. I've been holding out on you, it's true, but no more I say! I'm here to tell you about BLACKOUT CAKE with DENSE SMOOTH DELICIOUS Blackout frosting.

The point of a blackout cake is to be incredibly dark like impenetrable night. It's often called a "Brooklyn" blackout cake, presumably because there are blackouts in Brooklyn...? Hold on, let me google this.

Oh, there's lots of info on this. Apparently the cake was developed by Ebinger Bakery in Brooklyn, NY during WWII when there were, in fact, blackout drills. Every residence had to cover their windows so no light escaped and enemy planes couldn't see where to bomb-specifically where to bomb boats leaving the harbor. It was a chocolate cake with chocolate pudding filling and frosting finished with chocolate cake crumbs on top. Yum, right? Info came from this site.

This frosting is not pudding, it's much denser, with an intensely chocolate flavor. It's made with eggs, so it's very rich and the frosting stays soft even when kept in the refrigerator. This is a plus at the restaurant because all the cakes are kept in a chilled case. Basically, its brownie batter without the flour. So it tastes freaking AMAZING. I first saw it on the Oprah website, a recipe from the Chocolate Room in Brooklyn. Which I've been to and had hot chocolate, by the way. Here is my version of a Blackout Cake.

You will make the Martha One Bowl Cake from the Mocha Chocolate Cake post while the frosting is cooling.

Blackout frosting, adapted from the Chocolate Room cafe via Oprah

20 oz dark chocolate, chopped. (or chips)
3 1/4 sticks butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar
dash salt
8 eggs
instant thermometer or candy thermometer.

Pour a couple of inches of water in a pot and heat over medium heat. Place the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl and set it over the simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the butter and chocolate are melted and completely combined. Set aside.

Crack the eggs in another heat proof bowl, then add the sugar and salt and whisk thoroughly. Place the bowl over the same simmering water and heat, whisking constantly, until the temperature reaches 160 on an instant thermometer. This is the only tricky part- keep whisking or it is HIGHLY LIKELY that the eggs will start to curdle. If the eggs do curdle a little, all is not lost- you can blend the eggs with a blender or an immersion blender to make them smooth again.

Strain the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture using a fine-mesh strainer. Whisk to combine. Let the frosting cool slightly (it will be very runny) and then put it in the fridge for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until it is thick and spreading consistency. Taste it often- this frosting is finger-lickin good.

Swirl onto your cake and enjoy every bite.


  1. Oh wow, that is definitely dark and delicious to the max. This must have really satisfied the chocolate cravings. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cake up.

  2. Love the cake and the history!! Hope you find your info for your blog design soon. I'll have to try this cake some time soon.... ox