Cake or Death? Cake AND Death!

Today we celebrated the birthday of the instigator of 1234cook. We came across this recipe and thought it perfectly embodied the birthday girl: dark, sexy, fabulous and… not for the faint of heart.

We’re not kidding when we say beware of this cake. This is not an easy cake. But if you’re looking to showcase your baking skills – or you’re looking for a way to kill three hours and gain three stone – then this is the cake for you.

Happy Birthday, Cindy. We love you!

Hummingbird’s Brooklyn Blackout Cake


You will need:

100g unsalted butter at room temperature
260g caster sugar
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
45g intense Swiss cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
170g flour
160ml whole milk from happy Swiss cows
for the chocolate custard
500g caster sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
125g cocoa powder
200g corn flour
85g unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius (150 if it’s fan assisted like ours).
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy; add eggs one at a time. Mix well.
  3. Beat in vanilla extract, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add flour and all of the milk – mix until everything is smooth and nice.
  5. Divide the batter into three 20cm cake tins. Lick the spatula and wonder why you’re bothering with the next step at all.
  6. Bake them for 20-25 minutes; poke them with a stick to check if they’re done. When they’re done (the stick comes out clean) leave to cool on racks.
  7. For ze custard (get ready for some fun): put sugar, golden syrup, cocoa powder, and 600 mls water into a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally.
  8. Mix the cornflour with 150 mls of water, whisking briskly until it’s like glue. You’ll probably need to add more water but no more than 250 mls total.
  9. Take a break for a science lesson: Punch the goo. Poke the goo. Admire the goo’s non-Newtonian properties. Dip your finger sloooowwwwly – and then TAKE IT OUT FAST! Don’t lose your finger to the goo!
  10. Suddenly realise the chocolate stuff is boiling – extract fingers from goo god, rescue chocolate.
  11. Whisk the goo into the chocolate gradually, giggling as you go because it’s REALLY FUNNY GOO.
  12. Bring the chocolatey goo to a boil whisking constantly. (Some strength required.) Continue to cook until quite thick.
  13. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Spread the the custardy goo out onto a thin metal tray, cover it with cling film and whack it in the fridge.
  14. And zen: slice a thin layer off of one of the cakes, put it into a food processer and whiz it into crumbs.
  15. Layer the custard onto the cakes to form a triple layered chocolate orgasm. Dust the crumbs artfully over the outside of the custard-covered cake. (NB: Getting the crumbs on the side of the cake will require you to practice your ninja skills. Throw the crumbs at the sides as if you are fighting in the dojo.) Stand back, admire your work, and manfully resist putting your face in it.

Rating: 7/10

Minus points for the difficulty and time-consuming efforts


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