Brooklyn Blackout Semifreddo Cake


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)


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
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!