Yup, that’s right. It has been 1 whole year (and a day) since I first started this blog, which is pretty scary considering it only feels like 5 minutes ago but we won’t dwell on that too much! Obviously I’m not going to pass up an opportunity for some cake, and you can’t have a birthday without cake. I don’t get those people that don’t have cake to celebrate with, what is wrong with you?? Never too old.
If you haven’t gathered already I am a chocolate fiend, and I wanted to go all out for this. All out it did go, all out of the numerous sticky bowls, all up the walls and across my face and smoothered over every kitchen surface possible. I’m so glad my mother wasn’t there to witness it. So yeah, this one is a bit of a messy one to prepare but it is SO TOTALLY WORTH IT. One bite, one bite is all it takes to forgive this chocolate beast for ruining my nice, freshly washed t-shirt.
This cake is actually a famous creation from the Ebinger Baking Company in Brooklyn, USA. Unfortunately it’s now closed down and only a few other bakeries supply it. It’s named after the WWII blackouts and features layers of chocolate sponge, sandwiched together and then covered with a type of chocolate custard. It’s then dusted with more chocolate cake crumbs. The cake itself is simple to make, but the custard-pudding mixture is a bit of a faff to get perfect. It’s worth the effort though, I assure you.
TAKEN FROM THE HUMMINGBIRD BAKERY COOKBOOK
FOR THE CAKE
- 100g unsalted butter
- 260g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 45g cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon bicarb of soda
- a pinch of salt
- 170g plain flour
- 160ml whole milk
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CUSTARD
- 500g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 125g cocoa powder
- 200g cornflour
- 85g unsalted butter
1) Preheat the oven to 170C and line three cake tins with parchment paper
2) Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, around 3 minutes. Crack the eggs in individually and beat well after each.
3) Next, add the vanilla, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt and mix until well combined.
4) Add in half of the flour, all of the milk and the rest of the flour. Don’t overmix.
5) Scrape into the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
6) FOR THE CUSTARD/ In a saucepan over a medium heat, bring the sugar, syrup, cocoa powder and 600ml of water to a boil, whisking occasionally. Mix the cornflour with 120-200ml water, whisking as you pour until it reaches a glue-like consistency. If it’s too thick add a bit more water but don’t exceed 250ml. Whisk gradually into the cocoa mixture and bring back to a boil. Make sure you’re constantly whisking! Once it has reached a boil, cook for a further few minutes whilst continuing to stir. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pour into a bowl, cover with cling film and chill until firm.
7) Slice a thin layer off the top of the cake and pulse into breadcrumbs. Put one cake on the stand and cover with a layer of custard. Repeat until all layers are done. Top the whole thing, sides and all, with the remaining custard and then pat over the cake crumbs until completely covered. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to set.