Brooklyn Blackout Semifreddo Cake
I entered this cake in a recipe contest at Food52, we had to create a frozen dessert. I am a real lover of chocolate so I satisfied my craving with this cake. I am honored that my recipe was tested and photographed by the editors at Food52 and the beautiful photograph below was taken by James Ransom. I received a Community Pick!!
Who doesn’t love a Brooklyn Blackout Cake, the iconic cake that became the official cake of Brooklyn, made famous by it’s creators at Ebingers Bakery. Three layers of chocolate cake filled with chocolate pudding, frosted with the pudding and cake crumbs pressed on the side of the cake. This is a frozen version of this famous cake, 3 layers of chocolate sponge cake, chocolate semifreddo,chocolate ganache and cake crumbs. I made a chocolate sponge but you can use whatever type of cake you want or even cookie crumbs, this particular cake recipe freezes really well. I used my new favorite brand of chocolate for this cake, Divine (fair trade) chocolate, both the cocoa powder and the bar chocolate. It’s wonderful and I can’t say enough about the quality. Love it!
Makes 1 large loaf cake
Cake and Semifreddo:
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 7 ounces dark chocolate
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1 1/3 cup heavy cream (Optional)
- 2 tablespoons softened cream cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Place milk and butter in glass measuring cup and microwave for 45 seconds or until butter is melted. Using stand mixer with wire whisk or electric mixer whip the eggs and sugar on med/high for approximately 8 minutes or until the mixture is pale yellow, tripled in volume and thick, with the machine running slowly add the heated milk and butter. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Fold into the egg mixture, there should be no lumps. Fold in the vanilla. Grease a 1/2 sheet pan, lay parchment sheet and grease the parchment, and sprinkle with sugar. Pour batter into the pan, spread so that it is evenly distributed and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the pan run a knife around the edges to loosen then invert onto wire rack, remove parchment and let cool completely.
- In a bowl over a pot of simmering water (or in the microwave at high heat stirring every 30 seconds), melt chocolate and espresso powder and set aside. Keep pot of water simmering on the stove – you’ll use it again. Whip cream and cream cheese to soft peaks and store in fridge until ready to use. Whisk together eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a metal or glass bowl. Place bowl over simmering water and whisk until it thickens and sugar is melted, remove from simmering water and whisk constantly until doubled in volume, and whisk leaves a ribbon when lifted from bowl. Whisk in melted chocolate and allow mixture to cool for about 10 minutes, you don’t want to melt the whipped cream. Meanwhile, line a loaf pan with plastic wrap. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture, in two additions, until evenly incorporated.
Ganache and assembling:
- 4 ounces dark chocolate broken into small pieces
- 1/4 cup +2 tbs heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup (optional)
- Heat milk until scalding, add chocolate and corn syrup to hot cream, let sit for approximately 5 minutes, stir until smooth. Let cool at room temperature.
- Line loaf pan with plastic wrap (I like to spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray before I lay the sheet of plastic. Take your cooled cake and cut 3 pieces that will fit in your loaf pan, lay one layer on the bottom pour half of the semifreddo on top, add another layer of cake, pour on the rest of the semifreddo, top with another layer of cake. Save the leftover cake you will need it for the crumb layer. Wrap well with plastic wrap and let freeze overnight.
- Crumble the leftover cake and set aside, I pulsed a couple of time in the processor. Remove cake from loaf pan, all you have to do is lift out the plastic if it won’t come out just quickly dip pan in some warm water. place on serving dish and remove plastic. Spread a thin layer of ganache on the sides of cake, press crumbs on sides, spread ganache on top of cake and freeze until ready to serve.
Here is the photo taken by James Ransom at food52. Looks so much better than mine.
I just salivated on my keyboard. That looks amazing! Congratulations on the honor, it is clearly well-deserved. Yum!
LOL, thank you. If you can’t get enough chocolate and this cake really satisfies. I was so thrilled to see the photo!!
These pictures have so much yum in them! Love that dark chocolate.
Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Thank you so much, me too, love the dark chocolate!!
The name itself, ‘Brooklyn Blackout Cake’ is exciting. You sold me on ‘filled with chocolate pudding! This looks pretty good Suzanne! 😛
Thanks so much Fae, it’s an iconic Brooklyn cake with a twist, the original cake of course is not frozen. It’s my spin on the cake and it tastes really nice.
OMG that looks seriously AMAZING. Seriously. Heaven on a plate….and I really want a (large) slice NOW! Delivery service?
You are so kind, thank you so much. I would love to deliver, wish we were neighbors!!
Congratulations Suzanne! Well deserved because this cake is gorgeous and I can only imagine how heavenly both in texture and taste.
Thanks so much, the cake itself is great, it freezes so well, I used that recipe to make ice cream sandwiches also.
Home made ice cream sandwiches? Sounds great!
Yes, the best. Table of Colors posted a recipe for homemade praline ice cream that i am going to make and sandwich in between this cake recipe. I will be in heaven.
Congratulations! What a great honor. The cake looks like chocolate heaven, I can see why you were chosen. Yummy!
Thanks Suzie your compliment means a lot to me. It is chocolate heaven!!
Mmmmm this is mouthwatering … I am a chocolate lover too and coincidentally Divine is one of my favourite brands … I love the bar with raisins in it.
Thank you, oh me too!! I haven’t met a bar from Divine that I didn’t love and honestly their baking bars are so good I eat them straight up!!
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I’ve never had a semifreddo. I’ve never been a fan of ice cream cakes but this seems to bridge the gap. And how could anyone turn down so much rich chocolate?! Pinning so I remember. And congrats on the Food52 pick!
This cake does kind of bridge the gap, I love semifreddo, but i love ice cream or any sweet frozen treat. The cake itself is great, freezing really well. Thank you so much.
I have never heard of nor had this cake before. This looks crazy-delicious and I know one thing…I’m going to do both now! Don’t sell yourself short on your own photo. It had me salivating from the moment I saw it! Yum!! Thanks for sharing this! 🙂
Thank you so much, I do tend to sell myself short and really appreciate the kind words. The bakery that originated this cake went out of business in 1972, it has been replicated many times over in different bakeries and cookbooks but to my knowledge this is the first frozen version that I have seen. The original I have never tasted but I have had this cake before and it’s delicious.
Interesting. And frozen can only make it better as far as I see it. 🙂 I can’t wait to try it!
Thank you! ;o)
That cake looks like chocolate heaven my friend 😀
Choc Chip Uru
Oh thank you so much, anytime I eat chocolate I am in heaven.
I’ve never heard of this iconic cake before – what have I missed; it looks absolutely TDF, especially for a chocoholic like me. Although both photos are gorgeous, I have to say that your one makes me ‘taste’ the cake more (if only ;-))
Thank you so much, I am a confirmed chocoholic, have some every day just about. Thank you too for the nice comment on my photo, makes me feel my photo skills may be coming around a bit.
I eat at least a bit of chocolate every day – I couldn’t go without my ‘fix’. 😉
Me neither, have to have chocolate in some form every day. Thanks so much!
Congratulations, Suzanne! Your chocalate cake totally deserves the honor. It looks amazing. No offense to Mr. Ransom’s work, but I would rather go with your picture. I think it makes more justice to your lovely treat … you can really get the texture of it. 🙂
Wow, thank you so much. It is a really good cake, just a small slice will suffice, very rich and chocolatey. Thanks again Francesca!
An awesome recipe; Chocolate Heaven! Will be making this for my husband’s BD (Nov), there was NO doubt in my mind that you would get a CP! PS-I like your photo the best, it is magazine worthy…
Thanks so much Linda, I hope your husband enjoys. I really have no concept of a good photo when it comes to my own. I so appreciate the kind words. Thank you, these kind comments have made my day!
Good golly you know what’s good! That ought to suffice for one’s all-too-frequent chocolate craving. Nicely done!
LOL, thank you, can I make this on the grill???
You know the answer to that… Of course you can! All things are possible on a good grill. Except ice cream. Ain’t figured that one out yet.
LOL, ice cream would be a challenge. Firing up the grill tonight, doing country ribs using your rib post as a guide.
Woaaaa… this looks sublime!!! I’m craving chocolate now!
Thank you so much!
You’re welcome!! It looks so, so yummy!!! 😀
I’m so happy for you, Suzanne. Can’t wait to make this cake!
Thank you so much Emily!
I’m new to semifreddo, as I don’t think I’ve had that before. Loving the idea of it within the cake itself. This has to be really moist. And I’m not at all surprised they tested this. Well done!
Thank you, its like an ice cream cake but the semifreddo has a lighter feel than ice cream and layered with the chocolate sponge it’s wonderful.
Yay, congrats again! So happy for you. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that Divine chocolate.
Thanks Lori, yes love Divine. It’s really good chocolate and admire their company too!
Oh my goodness! This is waiting for me for this weekend! That’s when I let myself have dessert! I can’t wait!
Thanks so much. I have been dieting for a while now but allow myself one day where I can eat some dessert. Wish I still had this cake, gave it away to get rid of temptation.
How wonderful!! The cake, its name, and your Community Pick! Congratulations!!!
Thanks Azita, really thrilled!
Congratulations, you deserve it! Your cake looks lovely and something I would LOVE to have now…kind of as an after-baby treat 😉
Thank you, yes after having that beautiful boy you deserve a treat.
My oh my! Looks absolutely delicious!!
Thank you so much, it was a real treat.
A beautiful, rich cake, Suzanne: well deserved congrats on your accomplishment!
I like the Food 52 photograph: nice geometry and pleasing contrast.
Also, I really like that you chose fair trade chocolate for your recipe: well done!
Have a great weekend! 🙂
Thank you so much Stefano, I always love James Ransom’s photographs, they are beautifully composed.
printing out and making this weekend
the diet must be over Suzanne. Hurray!
Diet not over, I took one bite and gave it away. It was delicious! Thanks so much!
Well somebody got very lucky! And good for you for your stick-to-it-ive-ness. Seriously impressive.
Ha! i didn’t eat it. One bite and thats it, it quickly was gone from my house and given a new home. The bite that I did take was wonderful though! Thanks so much.
Omg Suzanne!!! That is one beautiful luscious cake! Wow.so chocolatey and one decadent list of ingredients. Not to mention, very beautiful. You should have won!! I also think your picture looks great 🙂
Thanks so much Brandi, it was a really delicious cake. I am so touched that people think my photo is good, makes me feel like my photo abilities are improving a bit.
ciao! on my way to get all the ingredients…just the best recipe.
Oh wow, thank you so much. I would love to hear if you make it what you think. Thank you again.
I totally missed this on Food52! Congratulations, Suzanne! It’s no wonder you got a CP, because I can almost taste it just by looking at it! Wow! It definitely is a gorgeous cake! 🙂 CC
Thank you so much, it really turned out so well. Was so pleased with it. I am a big fan of ice cream cakes.
Yum yum yum! That looks amazing!
Congratulations!! I can see why you got a community pick. This cake looks amazing! And honestly, I LOVE your picture! The way your frosting looks is absolutely mouth watering. I want to make this cake ASAP!
Thanks so much Kate, it’s really a delicious cake and I am so happy to have been picked for a CP and photo.
Beautiful, Suzanne! Congratulations on the CP award, too – well deserved. I love chocolate and I love semifreddo, so this sounds divine. Happy summer to you!
Thanks Hannah, me too, chocolate, semifreddo, ice cream all of it. Ice cream cakes are one of my very favorite things! You have a wonderful summer also.
Congratulations! Great looking cake!
Thank you very much.
This looks beautiful! Yum! I should try this out!
Thank you so much, if you do try I hope you like it.
Congratulations! And thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you so much Alex!
Suzanne!! Oh my GOSH! This looks like an incredible cake. I am so, so happy that you’ve received the Community Pick at Food 52… your photo is gorgeous, as is James Ransom’s!!! Definitely trying this recipe. Congratulations to you again, and thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe with us 🙂 xx
Thank you so much. it was a real honor and surprise to get the editors pick and photo. The cake is really good but I am really partial to ice cream cakes. Thank you again.
This sounds absolutely divine – I’ve never heard of a Brooklyn Blackout Cake before, but it make have to make an appearance in my life one of these weekends!
Thank you so much, one day I will make it again. It’s really delicious. I wasn’t around when the original bakery was in existence would love to have tasted it made by them.
This looks mouth wateringly delicious Suzanne! And congratulations on your award! How fantastic! Hope you are doing well! xoxo
Thank you so much, hope you are well also, I am doing just fine.
Congratulations! And what a delicious looking cake – I was going to hide this post from my daughter (a real chocoholic), but maybe I should just give her the recipe and volunteer to be taste-tester…
Thank you so much, my daughter saw my post and quickly snagged the cake. I love chocolate way too much.
Congratulations Suzanne it is a well deserved acknowledgment!
Thanks so much Katerina, it was a real thrill and surprise.
Ok I’m dying ! I want to eat it right now !!! This cake is awesome ! It’s beautiful and so appetizing ! I hope your recipe will be printed in a Food52 book ! I’d love it ! And you really deserve it ! This cake is a pure creation ! Must be sold in any pastry shop !
You make me blush, you are so kind. Thank you so much!
Thanks so much Leslie!
I think I need to get on this asap. I’ve never had semifreddo before, but it looks mouthwatering good!
Yvonne, thank you so much.
SemiFreddo and cake sounds amazing! I have never made a semi freddo before, but I still have sweet dreams about the peanut butter chocolate semifreddo I had at the Gramercy Tavern in New York. I am determined to make on this summer. Yours looks amazing.
Grammercy Tavern is one of my favorite restaurants. I love it there, have never had their semifreddo but next time I go if it’s on the menu I am getting it. Thank you so much.
Oh my word… if only you could mail cake!
This looks heavenly! I have been dying for a great piece of homemade chocolate cake. I am kind of tired of Magnolia and Crumbs. I really wish you delivered! 🙂 Blessings!
Thank you so much, I would if I weren’t afraid it would melt, LOL.
🙂 Just had a piece of a chocolate cupcake from Costco – so not worth the calories! Perhaps I will bake something for the holiday since you are not mailing me anything lol 🙂
I so know the feeling. eat something and you think what a waste of calories that I didn’t need to consume. Wish I could I am afraid it would be soup by the time it got to you, LOL
Oh, now that’s heaven!
Thank you so much!
Wow. This cake is divine. It’s absolutely to die for. Congrats on being tested and photographed for Food52. They don’t mess around. That’s a huge big deal to receive a community pick and I”m not surprised, given some of the stuff I’ve seen you make.
Thank you so much Amanda!
Congratulations on being in the Food 52 Cookbook, Suzanne. I’m psyched! This sounds so delicious too! Chocolate heaven. Mega hugs.
Thank you so much, you found it!! I was so happy to have the recipe included. It is a really good cake and I am a big fan of ice cream and semifreddo.