Sheet Pan

Brooklyn Blackout Semifreddo Cake

May 30, 2013
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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
  • Ganache and assembling
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate broken into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup (optional)
In This Recipe
  1. Cake and Semifreddo
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. Whip together the heavy cream and cream cheese. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture, in two additions, until incorporated.
  8. 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.
  1. Ganache and assembling
  2. 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.
  3. Crumble the leftover cake and set aside (I pulsed mine a couple of times in the food processor).
  4. 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!

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  • Jeannine Doyle
    Jeannine Doyle
  • Beth
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I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking, I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando. I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.