So this started as riff on my Spiced Chocolate Cake and grew from there. I absolutely love those chocolate-covered ginger biscuits. You know the ones – those crunchy, brittle ginger-snap like ones that have that slow-burning throaty heat, enrobed in decadent dark chocolate? Yup- I can easily demolish an questionably inhuman amount of them in one sitting! So I thought of recreating that addictive marriage of heat and bitterness in cake form. Not content with just any form if chocolate flavor I wanted an extra oomph! Switching up to using black cocoa not only gives in my view wonderfully deep, earthy chocolate flavor but also the alluring sumptuous midnight-black of the title. Although it does provide a chocolate flavor, it’s a world away from the sometimes cloying richness of a traditional cocoa-fueled cake.
I also thought it would provide the perfect canvas for my newly acquired stock of Rosen Bun’s bun-inspired spreads– here, the deliciously addictive Babka variety, with it’s “deep chocolate flavor with a cinnamon left hook”. The darkly, luxurious flavors of the spread combining with the spicy, gingery antics of the cake. You can rest easy as using the spread here is nothing more complicated than spreading, or rather smearing, it in hypnotic, glossy waves of velvety, sweet goodness over the top of the cooled cake. In fact the hardest part is restraining yourself from scoffing the cinnamony-cocoa spread straight from the jar! Seriously – this is sinfully finger-licking good stuff. Check out the Rosen Buns website for a list of stockists.
Decoration of the finished covered cake is entirely to your own taste. I used dehydrated pear slices as I was experimenting with a newly purchased kitchen gadget. Using the dried pear slices as decoration rather than munching them straight out of the bag providing some form of self-deluding restraint in my mind!
As always with my posts where I mention, or name drop, specific items it’s done from a place of support and elevation. The producing companies are small, local Toronto businesses whose products have earned a special place in this cynical, hungry heart (and I mean LITERALLY). If there has been any compensation, sponsorship or re-imbursement, I’ll clearly flag it up for clarity and yes, it usually still involves me being head-over-heels with the product (case in point here, with the awesome team at Station Cold Brew Coffee).
I hope you enjoy this little exercise and experiment in flavors from me- who knows there may be more to come! In the meantime stay safe, stay home (and bake!) and mask up!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup black cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tsps ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 cup Canola oil
- 1/2 cup fancy molasses
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 jar Rosen’s Babka Spread
- Combine the oil, molasses, juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Set it on low heat and stir till the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes
- In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk to combine and set aside until needed
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8″ x 8″ square cake pan with oil and line it with baking parchment, allowing allow the edges to overhang for easy removal
- Transfer the cooled molasses mixture to a large mixing bowl and add in the eggs, vanilla and milk. Whisk well until smooth and well combined
- Fold in the flour mixture gradually into the liquid until incorporated. Make sure the there are no pockets of dried flour mixture. The final batter may look a little lumpy- this is okay
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin, level the top and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top is darkening quickly, cover the tin loosely with foil and continue baking
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then invert, remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once completely cool spread the babka spread over the top as you would a ganache. Decorate as you like. Here I’ve used some dehydrated pear slices (for no other reason than I was playing with a new piece of kitchen equipment!)
- Slice and enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container for about 3-4 days at room temperature