Brooklyn blackout cake

Yields one, two-layer 9” cake

1. Prepare the cake layers.

Ingredients (Cake Layers)

  • 1 ½ cups Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout (or other chocolate stout) 

  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 1 ½ cups dark Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting

  • 2 ¾ cups sugar

  • 3/4 tablespoon baking soda

  •  1 cup sour cream (preferably full-fat)

  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt 

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with butter and dust with flour. Line pans with parchment rounds and then grease the rounds.

  2. In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring the stout and unsalted butter to a simmer.(You can also melt the butter in your oven, or in a large, microwave-safe bowl in a microwave oven and then whisk in the beer.) Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Let cool 5 minutes. Remove the stout-butter mixture from the heat, add the Dutch-process cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes. 

  3. While the stout-butter mixture cools, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. 

  4. In a separate large bowl whisk together the sour cream and eggs.

  5. Add the stout-butter mixture to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Then add the flour mixture, and combine with a rubber spatula until all the ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth, with no lumps. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry flour bits. 

  6. Divide the batter equally between pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

  7. Frost the cake with the Dark Chocolate Pudding Buttercream

2. Prepare the Salted Dark Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup to 1 ¾ cups whole milk

  • 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

  • ½ cups sugar

  • 2 ounces (about ⅓ cup) dark chocolate, chopped- we prefer 60% cocoa content or higher.

  • 3 tablespoons dark Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup milk and cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.

  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 1¾ cups milk, sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking, until chocolate is melted. 

  3. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture until fully incorporated.

  4. Reduce the heat to low, and continue to stir briskly with a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula. The mixture will come to a simmer and slowly begin to thicken. 

  5. Continue to cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pudding coats the back of the spoon and slowly drips off. It will be thick and just starting to bubble.

  6. Remove from heat and pour into 4 serving ramekins or bowls. Let cool.

  7. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it sets.

3. Prepare the Dark Chocolate Pudding Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 16 tablespoons (1 cup, 8 ounces) cold unsalted butter

  • 7 cups confectioners’ sugar + more for thickening

  • ½ cup dark Dutch-process cocoa powder 

  • ¾ cup salted dark chocolate pudding (from step 2)

Directions

  1. Cut the cold butter into ½ inch pieces. Let it come to room temperature.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, dark chocolate pudding (¾ cup), and ¼ tsp salt. Next beat on medium-high until the mixture is creamy and ingredients are incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

  3. Add more sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix on low until the frosting is thick but spreadable. Beat for 1 minute after each addition. (You may not need to add all the remaining sugar.) Once you have your desired consistency, scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  4. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until very light and fluffy. If the buttercream appears too thick, add a little more cream. If it appears too thin, add a little more confectioners’ sugar.

4. Once the cake layers have cooled, frost the cake with the Dark Chocolate Pudding Buttercream.

Tips for decorating

  1. Before filling your pastry bag, fold over the top of the bag to prevent frosting from getting on the outside of the bag. The cleaner your bag is, the cleaner your piping will be.

  2. Never fill your pastry bag more than halfway—and even less if your frosting is very stiff. This will give you more control.

  3. Before piping, push all the icing toward the tip of the bag, getting rid of any air pockets. Twist the top of the bag tightly shut so that no frosting can leak out the back end

  4. Only squeeze from the top of the bag—not the middle. As you use up the frosting in the bag, re-twist the top of the bag.

  5. Practice on parchment first. Buttercream can be piped onto a piece of parchment paper that has been taped to your counter, scraped off and re-piped over and over. The more you pipe, the better you get!

  6. Generally speaking, a piping bag should only be held at a 45 or 90-degree angle.