Vegan Brooklyn Blackout Cake | picklesnhoney.com

Brooklyn Blackout Cake

Vegan Brooklyn Blackout Cake | picklesnhoney.com

This weekend Bostonians felt the warmth of the sun on our skin for the first time since…September? Words cannot even begin to describe how needed and uplifting this was for all of us who have been buried beneath epic amounts of snow and layers upon layers that never quite kept us warm enough. Aaron and I celebrated with a trip to our old neighborhood rose garden park, bustling with happy people picnicking and little kids zooming around surprisingly fast on tiny bikes and scooters. I forgot sunglasses and the brightness was a bit too much for my sun-deprived eyes, so I closed them and was able to feel the warmth and hear the little ones racing by even more intensely. I realized I need to sit outside and close my eyes more often.

That park is my happy place. Aaron said for me it’s like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, which I admittedly had to look up because I wasn’t sure what he meant. He’s right though. It’s calming and centering, and the perfect amount of cheerful background noise to crowd out the not-so-helpful inner voices, but quiet enough to hear those voices that are much wiser and not so caught up in the details. The rose garden park is where I go to envision the bigger picture stuff.

There is a lot of noise in our day-to-day if we let it in, and one area that’s felt too noisy to me in recent months is this blog space. I redesigned Pickles & Honey around October of last year and in an effort to monetize, I added new display ads. This is an honest post, so here’s the truth: this always felt like a compromise to me. But my traffic had grown and I wanted to start contributing more financially, so I cringed a tiny bit and I added them anyway, thinking the money would make it worthwhile. The reality is that the money rarely makes a feeling of compromise worthwhile. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with display ads, because there isn’t, and it’s all about doing what feels personally authentic. I know I may even find that I’ve changed my mind again in a few months, but for right now and the foreseeable future, I’m removing those ads from this space.

Vegan Brooklyn Blackout Cake | picklesnhoney.com

Vegan Brooklyn Blackout Cake | picklesnhoney.com

Vegan Brooklyn Blackout Cake | picklesnhoney.com

When you visit P&H, we want it to be about the recipes, the writing, and the photography. The timing of this recommitment to content is not great for taking on a redesign because we’re leaving in a month for our extended road trip, but it is rather perfect for stripping away the clutter. I have a good feeling that doing so will not only allow our content to take center stage, but it should also give us the needed space to take in what’s sure to be a transformational year and see where we land. I don’t know how we’ll monetize (maybe we won’t), but this next year is one we’re dedicating to living as authentically and constraint-free as possible. It’s all about the once-in-a-lifetime things and exploring to see whether we can’t make the rest of our years the same.

Vegan Brooklyn Blackout Cake | picklesnhoney.com

Vegan Brooklyn Blackout Cake | picklesnhoney.com

This brooklyn blackout cake is the richest, most decadent vegan chocolate cake I’ve ever made. I looked to the tradition recipe—a two-layer chocolate cake with a chocolate pudding filling—then took it up a few notches, doubling the layers and creating a filling and frosting that’s somewhere between luscious pudding and ganache. It’s four layers of intense dark chocolate with a generous coating of chopped almonds for texture and flavor. The filling stays pudding-like in the center but turns to fudge on the exposed top and sides. Think true blackout cake meets Cheesecake Factory meets vegan. No compromises.

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Brooklyn Blackout Cake

Vegan Brooklyn Blackout Cake | picklesnhoney.com

Brooklyn Blackout Cake

Vegan,

Serves: one 8-inch 4-layer chocolate cake


Prep Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Cook Time: 35 mins

The richest, most decadent vegan chocolate cake you may ever make. Four layers of intense dark chocolate with a generous coating of chopped almonds.

Vegan Brooklyn Blackout Cake | picklesnhoney.com

Brooklyn Blackout Cake

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Ingredients

For the chocolate cakes:

  • 1 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 2/3 cups organic soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 5 tablespoons melted coconut oil, plus additional for greasing the pans
  • 1½ cups coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

For the chocolate ganache frosting:

  • 3/4 cup organic soy milk
  • 11 ounces (310 grams) vegan dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil (solid or melted is fine)
  • scant 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3 cups vegan powdered sugar, sifted

For decorating:

  • 1 cup chopped almonds

Cuisine: Vegan Servings: one 8-inch 4-layer chocolate cake

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 mins Cook Time: 35 mins

The richest, most decadent vegan chocolate cake you may ever make. Four layers of intense dark chocolate with a generous coating of chopped almonds.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8-inch cake pans and set them aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the non-dairy yogurt, non-dairy milk, applesauce, coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Slowly stir in the flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Mix until just combined (be careful not to over-mix). It should be on the thicker side.
  • Using a spatula, divide the batter between the two cake pans, smooth out the tops, and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven to cool completely.
  • Once cool, gently remove the cakes from the pans, wrap each in plastic, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (it's much easier to frost cold cake).
  • While the cakes cool, make the ganache frosting. Add the soy milk to a medium saucepan and warm it over low-medium heat until it just begins to simmer. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and add in the chopped dark chocolate and coconut oil. Stir continuously until melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the salt, then transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to thicken (it's okay if a little oil separates). Once cooled, turn the mixer to low speed and add in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until it's incorporated. Beat on high speed for 3-5 minutes. The consistency should be similar to a thick chocolate pudding.
  • When the cakes are cold, use a long serrated bread knife to slice each layer in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Place the first cake layer on a cake plate or serving dish and spread a layer of ganache frosting (about 2/3 to 3/4 cup) on top, then place a second cake layer on top. Spread another layer of frosting on top. Repeat until all 4 layers are frosted, then frost the sides of the cake. Don't worry about the frosting being a little on the looser side at this point--it will set shortly after to form a thicker fudge. Use your hands to coat the sides of the cake with the chopped almonds.
  • Allow the frosting to set for 5-10 minutes, then slice and enjoy!

Notes [1]

The consistency of the yogurt you use will impact the thickness of the batter. I like to use a thinner coconut milk yogurt for this recipe. If you find that the batter is too thick, you can mix in about 2 tablespoons or so more of non-dairy milk to thin it. This is a forgiving recipe and it stands up well to slight modifications.

Copyright © 2022 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

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