The Blackout Is a Knockout: Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes

My friend Michael invited us over for a Fourth of July barbecue and I offered to bring a dessert. Michael is known for his amazing cherry pies and he suggested something chocolate to go along with pie, such as salted caramel brownies or my Hostess knockoff cupcakes. I decided to try something new instead, Tish Boyle's "Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes" from Flavorful. The headnote explains that they are the scaled down cupcake version of the Brooklyn Blackout Cake from Boyle's The Cake Book, but with a more chocolate-y pudding.

I made the pudding a day in advance since it requires chilling time. You make it by cooking sugar, cornstarch, salt, and milk until thickened; putting the mixture through a sieve; adding bittersweet chocolate, butter, and vanilla; and chilling for at least four hours. The cupcake batter is a high-ratio recipe (400 grams sugar to 310 grams flour and cocoa combined) so you make it by putting all of the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar) into a mixing bowl and then adding all of the liquid ingredients (eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla, and hot brewed coffee). The recipe says it yields 24 cupcakes, but I got 32. The frosting is American buttercream made from softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and melted and cooled unsweetened and bittersweet chocolates.
To assemble the cupcakes, I used a cupcake corer to remove a plug of cake from the center of each cupcake and filled the cavity with the chocolate pudding. The recipe says you should use a pastry bag to pipe in the pudding but my pudding was so thin that it ran straight through the pastry tip. I just spooned in the pudding and it worked out fine. Then I piped on the frosting and finished the cupcakes with a sprinkle of chocolate crumbs that I made by running all of the removed cupcake cores through the food processor. I ran out of frosting for the last few cupcakes, which I guess isn't surprising since I had so many more than the stated yield.

These cupcakes were freakin' delicious. The cake was light, tender, and deeply chocolate-y, with a detectable coffee flavor in the background. The pudding also had a rich chocolate flavor, and although I was afraid that it would spill out of the cupcakes when people bit into the centers, it thankfully stayed put (perhaps due to additional chilling time between cupcake assembly and serving). The creamy frosting was exceptional. It reminded me a lot of the chocolate buttercream frosting from the Chocolate Heaven cake and in fact the two recipes are almost identical, except that the Chocolate Heaven cake frosting is made from all bittersweet chocolate and Boyle's calls for half unsweetened chocolate and half bittersweet (I used 70% Callebaut bittersweet chocolate in both the pudding and frosting).

There was nothing I didn't love about these cupcakes and I think I'm going to use this as my standard chocolate cupcake recipe from now on. These cupcakes would be outstanding even without the pudding.

Recipe: "Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes" from Flavorful by Tish Boyle, recipe available here from Fine Cooking, or here at Tish Boyle's website. [Update: So I wasn't paying attention and I didn't realize that the two recipes I linked to here are different. The version on the Fine Cooking website is identical to the recipe I used from Flavorful. The version from Tish Boyle's website has the same cake and frosting recipes (although the weight measurements -- but not the volume measurements -- are different for the cake), but a different filling recipe that includes egg yolks and heavy cream.]

Previous Post: "Cake + Pudding + Fudge Frosting = Cake Heaven: New Brooklyn Blackout Cake," April 30, 2016.

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