Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tall, Dark, Rich and Handsome

This past Sunday was Father's Day. And there's nothing better than a tall luscious chocolate cake to celebrate with so I was thrilled when The Cake Slice Bakers chose this cake to bake for the month of June. Mr. H is a true chocolate lover and this cake hit the spot on so many levels. There's light and fluffy cake loaded with cocoa, a fudgy chocolate pudding to fill the layers and then it's lovingly swathed in dreamy chocolate buttercream. And just to gild the lily, you take some of the cake, crumble it up and pat it into the frosting. This is a true man's cake. 

We celebrated Father's Day with my family at my mom's house this year. My aunt, uncle and cousin were there as well as my in-law's. In total there were about 12 of us and 5 dogs- it was a full house! We had 4 different kinds of quiche (because real men eat quiche), a fresh fruit salad, Parmesan roasted tomatoes, fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee, this Brooklyn Blackout Cake (click the link to read the history) and a cheesecake that my MIL made. I'll share that one later on! There was so much food and I ate a big honkin' piece of cheesecake that I filled up and didn't get to taste the cake until the next day. But the slice pictured in this post, was all mine :-)

It just dawned on me as I was thinking of past Father's Day celebrations and June 20th, that this day in 2004 is when Mr. H asked me to marry him. I had been working that day and was tired, my feet hurt and I was hungry. Mr. H picked me up from work to take me back to his parent's house for Father's Day dinner. I remember calling my Dad on the way over there to wish him a happy day when I realized that we weren't going to his parents house. Mr. H made a detour and we were headed to Mount Bonnell (click the link to read about it)- one of my favorite places and also the place where we went on our first date 13 years ago. Mr. H was very nervous and I had an idea of what he was going to do but I wasn't totally sure. Shortly there after, overlooking the lake and a beautiful sunset, he asked me to marry him. All these years later, we have a sweet boy named Hayden Bonnell. 

Mr. H, Hayden and GrandBob
Brooklyn Blackout Cake from The Cake Book 

For the Chocolate Blackout Cake:
  • 1½ cups (6.4 oz/181 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2.9 oz/85 g) natural (not Dutch-processed) cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (14 oz/400 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
  • ½ cup (1 stick/4 oz/113 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot brewed coffee

For the Chocolate Pudding Filling:
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup (4.6 oz/132 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) heavy cream
  • 3 ounces (85 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Fudgy Chocolate Frosting:
  • 4 ounces (113 g) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 11 tablespoons (5.5 oz/156 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cups (6.7 oz/191 g) confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9" round cake pans. (see me NOTE below.) Dust the pans with flour.

2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the granulated sugar and, using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until blended.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. At low speed, add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients in a steady steam. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat at medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the hot coffee, mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir the batter up from the bottom of the bowl a few times to thoroughly blend it. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly and smoothing the tops.

4. Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.

5. Invert the cakes onto the racks and cool completely.


6. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt at medium speed until pale, about 1 minute.

7. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the water and cream and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk about half of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture. Whisk this mixture back into the remaining cream mixture in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to boil, whisking, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until completely melted.

8. Pass the filling through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled.


9. Put the chocolate in a medium stainless steel bowl and place over a pot of barely simmering water. Heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl from the pot and set the chocolate aside to cool until tepid.

10. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate, then beat until well-blended and creamy, about 1 minute.


11. Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half horizontally, to make 4 layers. Reserve one layer. Place another cake layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Whisk the chilled filling until smooth. Using a small offset metal spatula, spread half of the filling over the layer. Top with another cake layer and spread it with the remaining filling. Top with a third cake layer, smooth side up. (See my NOTE below.)

12. Break half of the reserved cake layer into large pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor (save the remainder of the cake layer for snacking). Process the cake to fine crumbs, and set aside.

13. Using a narrow metal spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting. Pat a generous amount of cake crumbs onto the sides of the cake, pressing them lightly into the frosting. Sprinkle the remaining cake crumbs over the top of the cake. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

STORE in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for up to 2 days.

Yield : Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 10 to 12

NOTE: This recipe had you bake a cake in 2 9-inch layer then once baked and cooled, you slice them in half to make 4 equal layers. The cake uses 3 of those layers then half of the remaining cake layer is crumbled and patted into the frosting. Instead of having to cut the cake into equal layers and worrying about all the crumbs, I simply baked the cake into 3 layers and used about 1 cup of batter to make cupcakes for the crumbs on the outside of the cake. You can make it however you want, this was just simpler and less messy in my opinion and there wasn't any cake wasted. 

Hope you all had a delicious Father's Day!


Caity @ Awkward Kitchenette said...

Yum! What a nice Father's Day cake - I know my own husband would love it too!

Unknown said...

Your cake is so stunning! I love it! The blue combined with the chocolate frosting and the dark chocolate cake crumbs are just so beautiful together. I can't get enough of your pictures. Haha. I'm meserized:P Wow, Becca you can shut up any time now :S

It sounds that you had a wonderful Father's Day celebration with your family.

Cucina49 said...

Wow, this is gorgeous! I love how you decorated it and the blue totally matches your husband's shirt. I hope your husband was thrilled with it!

Monica H said...

haha! Thank you Becca :-)

I wanted the icing to be blue but then I added vanilla and it turned out aqua which turned out to be quite nice. And even though neither of us planned it, it turned out to match Mr. H's shirt almost perfectly.


Paloma said...

That's such a perfect cake! Just like everything else you bake! ... I love it that the frosting ended up matching your hubby's shirt... so funny! even by accident things work out for you! ;)



Heather said...

Wow!! It looks amazing!!

Tracy {Pale Yellow} said...

This cake looks so beautiful! I love the idea of pudding in the center.

Jodi said...

That is one gorgeous cake! Wow, looks amazing!

Heather at Kitchen Concoctions said...

What a gorgeous cake! The crumbs add a nice rustic touch! Oh and I love the story of Hayden's name and your engagement!

Katie said...

Your cake looks perfect. I must have seriously underbaked mine as my layers were very fudgey but still delicious.
Such a wonderful story of your engagement and now Hayden.

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

This cake looks seriously delicious! and I absolutely love that the frosting colour co-ordinates with your husbands shirt - awesome!

Beachwalk83 said...

My daughter and I always try to bake a chocolate cake for my husband's birthday in July. (Tho. not always fun baking in July heat and having melting chocolate frosting!) But am forwarding your post to my daughter to see if she is "game." Don't think my husband will put on an aqua shirt, however, to coordinate with the frosting. (He does eat quiche, tho!)

Love all things engagement/wedding/babies so, of course, loved your story. You know, you can not post without a picture of Hayden. It's been fun to see him grow!

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Keeley said...

I love the story of how Hayden got his middle name! Very sweet!

I got engaged in 2004, too... remember, we have the same anniversary! We were engaged on The Spirit of Philadelphia and my story is more funny than sentimental. :)

Stacie said...

Love the blue frosting, it looks great!

Unknown said...

Such a stunning cake! I hope Mr. H had a happy Dad's Day! And what a sweet story about your wedding proposal. Now I love Hayden's name even more!

OvenDelights said...

How time flies! Your baby is getting so big! I miss my kids being so small :(

Emily said...

Hi Monica,

A lovely post by you and an awesome cake too! Love the colors in your cake deco.

Your Hayden is gorgeous!

ps: hope blogger gets my comment across!

Melissa said...

This looks awesome! I have a quick question though, does the coffee taste a lot? I love chocolate but I'm not really fond of coffee!
Thank you!

Monica H said...

Melissa- no it doesn't taste like coffee, but if you'd like just use hit water Instead.


Kara D said...

This looks delicious! How does it compare against the Chocolate Celebration Cake you made in December 2011? I am deciding which one to bake and they both look phenomenal!

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