I’ve never heard of Brick Street Café in South Carolina but I’d seen mouthwatering pictures of this copycat cake on pinterest and that was enough to make me try the recipe. Having never had the real thing, I don’t know how this compares so all I can say is this is a good chocolate cake.
I think the “hook” is the flowing gush of chocolate ganache icing which I imagine is rather impressive when served at a restaurant. Especially if it’s served warm. Actually, you have to serve it at least warm enough that the icing is flowing; otherwise, this sets at room temperature.
The directions say you have to bake this in a convection oven. I’m not sure why except I know most restaurant kitchens, bakeries and commercial kitchens have convection ovens so that’s probably how the original cake was baked at the Brick Street Café. I rarely bake cakes on the convection setting in my oven. I reserve that setting for when I’m baking cookies because I want the outside of the cookies to bake faster and set before the cookies spread too much while the inside doesn’t bake as quickly and doesn’t dry out. For cakes, especially cakes of this size baked in a tube pan, I want to bake evenly throughout, not have the outside form a crust while the inside is still mushy. Okay for a lava cake but not for a “regular” cake.
Fortunately, because it’s baked in a tube pan, my fears were unfounded. This baked okay in a convection oven although the outer side seemed to bake faster as the inner ring rose higher than the outer ring. Which meant when I inverted the cake, while the inverted bottom which was now the top, was perfectly level and even, what was once the top and was now the bottom was too rounded and didn’t provide for a stable base. So I inverted it again so it was as it had baked.
Back to the hook of the flowing lava frosting. The instructions say to fill the hole left by the tube pan in the middle of the cake first then let the overflow cover the cake. So then when you slice into the cake, this whole volcanic chocolate lava would gush right out. At first I thought there might not be enough frosting to fill the hole and cover the cake but I was wrong. Really, really wrong. In fact, there was almost too much frosting for it not only filled the hole but blanketed the cake and made it look like a Ding Dong on steroids. If you're a frosting person, there's probably no such thing as too much frosting but you know me. Too much frosting.
I made this cake to bring to work so I made it on a weekend and brought it in on a Monday. By then the frosting had set so now it was like a thick crust. If you warmed it up, it softened again but at room temperature, it was like a blanket of fudge. Taste-wise, this is a rich cake. As in, if you’re a chocoholic, this would be a hit and I’m not sure how soon you’d crash from the Olympian heights this much chocolate would take you. It was good but I’d recommend a small slice to start off with so you don’t eat yourself into a chocolate coma. I really liked the cake part as it was moist and chocolaty but I’d just as soon skip the frosting or make half the frosting recipe and use it as a light (very light) glaze. Maybe even a third of the frosting recipe.
If you want to try this as is, I’d suggest using this as a fairly impressive dessert for a dinner party. Make the cake ahead of time but wait on the frosting until right before you’re about to serve dessert. The frosting is easy to make at the last minute and you can pile it on the cake, filling the hole and all, then serve immediately to your guests. The gush of chocolate lava is something to behold and they can pile the excess frosting in all its oozing glory all over their cake slices as much as they wish.
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup instant chocolate pudding mix
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream, more or less for consistency
- Preheat convection oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream sugar, butter and vanilla in large bowl. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Mix in cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, chocolate pudding mix and buttermilk.
- Pour into greased tube pan. Bake in convection oven for 60-70 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs. Cool completely before icing.
- Icing: Heat water, butter and vanilla together in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Whisk smooth and remove from heat.
- Stir in unsweetened cocoa powder. Stir in powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. Stir in heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, until you get the desired consistency.
- Pour icing in the hole in the middle of the cake first then spread icing over the cake and pour over the sides. Icing will harden as it cools.