Brooklyn Blackout Semifreddo Cake

By • May 30, 2013 116 Comments

498 + Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!


Author Notes: Who doesn't love a Brooklyn Blackout Cake? It's the iconic cake that became the official cake of Brooklyn, made famous by its creators at Ebingers Bakery. Three layers of chocolate cake are filled with chocolate pudding, frosted with the pudding, and topped with cake crumbs pressed into the side of the cake. This is a frozen version of the famous cake: three 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 (even cookie crumbs!). The cake layer freezes really well and is a simple chocolate sponge cake recipe.sdebrango

Food52 Review: If you like chocolate, you are going to LOVE this Brooklyn Blackout Semifreddo Cake! The sponge cake has a moist, soft texture that pairs really well with the deep, creamy, luxurious taste of the chocolate semifreddo. This is by far the best ice cream cake we have ever had – it blows the store-bought ones out of the water! The hardest thing about the recipe is the waiting period – my husband and I could not wait for it to freeze overnight and even debated whether we should have it for breakfast or not! Madhuja

Makes 1 large (10-inch) loaf cake

Cake and Semifreddo

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the semifreddo:
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons softened cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place milk and butter in a glass measuring cup and microwave for 45 seconds, or until the butter is melted. Using a stand mixer with the wire whisk attachment (or a hand-held electric mixer), whip the eggs and sugar on medium-high for approximately 8 minutes, or until the mixture is pale yellow, tripled in volume, and thick.
  2. With the machine still running, slowly add the heated milk and butter. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Fold it into the egg mixture; there should be no lumps. Fold in the vanilla.
  3. Grease a 1/2 sheet pan, line with parchment, grease the parchment, and sprinkle with sugar. Pour batter into the pan, spread so that it is evenly distributed, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the pan, then run a knife around the edges to loosen. Invert onto a wire rack, remove parchment, and let cool completely.
  4. In a bowl over a pot of slowly simmering water (or in the microwave at high heat stirring every 20 seconds), melt chocolate and espresso powder and set aside. Keep the pot of water simmering on the stove -- you’ll need it again!
  5. Whisk together eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a metal or glass bowl. Place the bowl over simmering water and whisk until it thickens and sugar is melted. Remove from simmering water and whisk constantly, until the mixture doubles in volume and the 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.
  6. Whip together the heavy cream and cream cheese. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture, in two additions, until incorporated.
  7. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap (I like to spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray before I lay down the sheet of plastic). Cut the cake into three pieces that will fit into the loaf pan. Place the first piece in the pan, then top with half of the semifreddo. layer in the second piece of cake, top with the rest of the semifreddo, then layer on the last piece of cake. Place in the freezer, and let freeze overnight.

Ganache and assembling

  • 4 ounces dark chocolate broken into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup (optional)
  1. Heat cream until scalding, then add chocolate and corn syrup. Let the mixture sit for approximately 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Let cool at room temperature.
  2. Crumble the leftover cake and set aside (I pulsed mine a couple of times in the food processor).
  3. Remove cake from the loaf pan. (All you have to do is lift out the plastic. If it won't come out, just quickly dip the pan in some warm water.) Place on a serving dish and remove plastic. Spread a thin layer of ganache on the sides of cake, press crumbs on sides, spread ganache on top, and freeze until ready to serve. Take cake out of freezer about 10 minutes before serving and let sit at room temperature. Enjoy!

More Great Recipes: Chocolate Cake|Ice Cream|Desserts|Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts|Corn

💬 View Comments ()

Comments (116) Questions (0)

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar
23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar
23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar

19 days ago Mary Laves

Forgot to mention, additionally, I used a Kahlua sugar syrup to moisten the sponge cake.

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

19 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh yes, that kahlua syrup sounds lovely with the cake.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar

19 days ago Mary Laves

I found the cake on the recipe to be a bit stiff so I substituted a chocolate sponge cake and use the semifreddo--additionally it's lovely from the refrigerator instead of the freezer.

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

19 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes frozen the cake can be a bit stiff glad the sponge worked well and very happy that you liked it. Thank you so ,much.

A8f887b0-7084-46ed-a04f-70da0bc565f4--image

2 months ago Jeannine Doyle

I just finished this with the ganache and crumbs (snuck a piece), hide it by ganache and crumbs. OMG, this is a fantastic cake. I urge everyone to try it!

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You are so kind. thank you Jeannine and thank you also for giving my recipe a try. So happy that you liked it.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar

2 months ago Lynn Erickson

Ins

6add1b7a-4914-49ad-b6a7-85a67ce7bd0c--fb_avatar

2 months ago Beth

It's wonderful

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Beth.

A8f887b0-7084-46ed-a04f-70da0bc565f4--image

2 months ago Jeannine Doyle

Its in the freezer, will finish tomorrow!!! Hard to wait!

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Very excited to hear how you like it. I used that cake recipe for lots of other ice cream cakes. It is still soft enough to eat even when frozen.

A8f887b0-7084-46ed-a04f-70da0bc565f4--image

2 months ago Jeannine Doyle

Can this be eaten at room temperature!

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Jeannine, the semifreddo will melt like icecream so eat it cold, let it sit for a little while to soften a bit when just out of the freezer but make sure it doesn't sit too long so it doesn't melt.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar

about 1 year ago Douglas Boyce

that sounds GREAT, I have a pineapple in my fridge I was planning to dehydrate it with some sriracha sauce yet a cake sounds Uber Yummy.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar

about 1 year ago Douglas Boyce

I hear you. I am not thus far. I just found a great brand Madecasse (with coconut). I adore coconut and this is a great combo

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Sounds great, love coconut also. I make a great coconut layer cake with a pineapple filling. Like a pina colada in cake form.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar

about 1 year ago Douglas Boyce

of all curses in life it is workable I have come to. I do miss shellfish , nuts and patisserie Calude's au pain chocolate. Joyful cooking to you !

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Same to you, I don't know what I would do if I were allergic to chocolate. Oh my!

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar

about 1 year ago Douglas Boyce

Hello again, I thank you for this thread of conversation. I am home chef with a list of allergies that is longer than foods I can still eat. I make many substitutions with most often great success. i cook w/ little fear. I am sure you will love this cake... that is if you like chocolate at all.

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

So sorry to hear about the allergies, I know how hard that is to deal with, substitutions are an allergic eaters best friend. Thanks so much.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar

about 1 year ago Douglas Boyce

I have no experience with instant coffees, yet I am sure that could work as well. Super Delish cake. I had my main squeeze read the recipe to me so I would not miss a step as i prepared this cake.

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I always keep a little jar of instant espresso in the pantry i like to add to anything chocolate as it intensifies the flavor, that said it's only optional in the recipe Thank you and so glad you made it.

28d1211b-4f44-437e-b2cf-0135a2dd9173--stringio

about 1 year ago snowmoonelk

Thanks guys! In the UK we have something called Carte Noire, so I will use that now I know what it is!

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Do let me know how it goes. So happy you are going to try the recipe.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar

about 1 year ago Douglas Boyce

Hello,

I used espresso grinds that I had previously had made a mochachino out of.

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Do you mean instead of the instant espresso? That would work.

28d1211b-4f44-437e-b2cf-0135a2dd9173--stringio

about 1 year ago snowmoonelk

What is espresso powder?

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It's instant espresso, I use Medaglia D'oro.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar

about 1 year ago Laurelb

How big a loaf pan did you use? Thanks

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I used a big one, 10 inch loaf pan. You can use smaller if you don't have a big one it's really only used as a mold. But you will have some leftovers which can be frozen.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar

over 1 year ago Douglas Boyce

way WOW. I made it as a birthday cake. And it was delish !

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much, means a lot to me . I am so happy you liked it and I am making it for my daughters birthday in July.

Ee645f02-6542-4c34-a5be-45c347fdad64--mami_2.1.1

over 1 year ago bonheurcuisine

Yum Suzanne! I have this one saved and now that I see it again I´m definitely doing it this week!

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Viviana, I do hope you like it.

Ef22f4c2-1845-4a17-90da-cef71ff155a4--image_mg_0362

over 1 year ago Jestei

how many would this serve, roughly?

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

8 approximately, maybe 10 if you sliced thinly.

61430fff-c4ab-485d-9db7-9052b8bd02d5--stringio

over 1 year ago Dominika Ujlaky

Question: This cake looks fabulous and I'd love to try making for some customers at the cafe where I work. Freezer cakes are excellent for this purpose because they can be made ahead of time, keep well, and can be taken out on an as-needed-basis. BUT our dessert case (where desserts are plated and displayed) is only refrigerated...would this cake, once cut, plated, and refrigerated melt into a puddle (like an ice cream cake would) or does its consistency lend to refrigeration as well??

2f4926e2-248b-4c22-a6f7-8f2d888b8488--3-bizcard

over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Good question, I think after a while it would turn into a puddle. I have kept it outside of the freezer as long as 20-30 minutes and it was fine. Keeping it sliced in the refrigerator I honestly don't know how long it would take to turn into a puddle. Let me know if you try!! Thank you.