Strawberry Chocolate Layer Cake

Best cake ever…

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Strawberry Chocolate Layer Cake

Yields:  Two layer cake

Total Time:  1 hour 40 min (includes cooling time)

Prep Time:  1 hour

Cook Time:  25 min

 

Cake Ingredients

  • 6 oz. cake flour (approximately ¾ cup)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 8 oz. milk, room temperature
  • 2 oz. Dutch-processed cocoa powder (approximately 2/3 cup)
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate baking bar (60% cacao), finely chopped
  • 12 oz. sugar (approximately 1 ½ cup)
  • 5.3 oz. vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients

  • 16 oz. strawberries, sliced
  • 2 oz. granulated sugar (may need more depending on how tart the berries are)

Whipped Ganache Ingredients

  • 8 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

 

Directions

  1. Prepare the whipped ganache:  Bring the heavy cream just to a simmer.  Add the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for 2 minutes.  Whisk until well combined and place in the refrigerator, while you make the cake.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Lightly grease and dust two 9-inch round pans with cocoa powder.  Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  4. Stir together the cake flour, salt, and baking powder.
  5. Bring the milk just to a simmer.  Stir in the cocoa powder, followed by the bittersweet chocolate.  Allow to set for a minute so the chocolate will melt, then stir until smooth.
  6. Stir in the granulated sugar, then stir in the vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and eggs.
  7. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans (22 oz. in each pan).
  9. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
  10. Once done, place the pans on a wire rack.  Cool for 10 minutes, the remove from the pans to cool completely.
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.  Slice the strawberries and stir in the sugar.  Allow to sit at room temperature while the cake cools.  Drain well.
  12. Finish up the whipped chocolate ganache topping.  Add the slightly firm ganache to a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer for 3 minutes on medium-high speed until whipped and lightened in color (alternatively, whip with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment).
  13. Assemble the cake:  Spread half of the whipped ganache on the first cake layer, followed by the strawberries.  Top with the remaining cake layer and the remaining ganache.  If desired, garnish with additional strawberries and shaved chocolate.
  14. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator.

With February comes chocolate and strawberries… what better way to combine the two than with a decadent chocolate cake?

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I’ve made manyyy chocolate cakes, but this one definitely “takes the cake.”  This one is moist, has a tender crumb, and actually tastes like chocolate (which, unfortunately, is one of my biggest letdowns when making chocolate cake from scratch)!

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Before making the cake, I like to get a head start on the topping – whipped chocolate ganache.  This is made up of two ingredients:  semi-sweet chocolate and heavy cream.

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Bring the heavy cream just to a simmer.

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Add the chopped chocolate and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

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Whisk until the mixture is smooth, then place in the refrigerator.

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The cake is comprised of milk, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, cake flour, vegetable oil, eggs, Dutch-processed cocoa powder, baking powder, kosher salt, and bittersweet chocolate:

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Lightly grease two 9-inch round pans with butter.  Dust the inside with cocoa powder (you can also use flour, but you may end up with a white dusting on the outside of the finished cake).  Line the bottom with the parchment paper round.

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Stir together the cake flour, salt, and baking powder.  Set aside.

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Bring the milk just to a simmer.

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Stir in the cocoa powder.  This blooms the cocoa and helps it to dissolve.

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Note that this recipe calls for Dutch-process cocoa powder.  This cocoa has been neutralized, so it is not as acidic as natural cocoa powder.  It also contains more fat, which lends itself to creating a moist cake.

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Add the bittersweet chocolate and allow to set for a minute to melt.

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Stir until smooth.

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Then stir in the granulated sugar.

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And the vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and eggs.

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Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

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Do not overmix or you’ll end up with a tough cake (due to extra gluten formation).

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Pour the batter into the preciously prepared pans from before – about 22 oz. in each.

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Ready to go!

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Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 24 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in the middle will come out mostly clean with a few crumbs.

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Place the cakes on a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

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Then remove from the pans and let them cool completely.

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While the cakes are cooling, we have time to make the strawberry filling.

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It is made up of strawberries and sugar!

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Slice up the strawberries.

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Stir in the sugar.  If you have super sweet strawberries on hand, feel free to lower the amount of sugar or omit completely.  If you have quite tart berries, feel free to increase the amount of sugar.

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Drain these well before cake assembly.

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Remember the chocolate ganache we made earlier?  Time to whip it into a light topping!

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Just place in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).

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Best frosting evah.  Make sure you make this right before frosting the cake – it’ll harden up if you put it in the fridge at this point.

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And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – cake assembly!  Place the bottom layer on your serving vessel of choice.

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Spread half of the whipped ganache over the cake.

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Then add the strawberries and spread into an even layer.

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Top with the second cake layer.

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Add the remaining ganache.

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And add garnishes as desired!  I went with whole strawberries and some chocolate curls.

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Quick side note – To make chocolate curls, place 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate and 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring after each session, until completely melted and smooth.  Spread on the back of a metal sheet pan into a very thin layer.  Freeze for 5 minutes.  Remove from the freezer and use a narrow metal spatula to scrap the chocolate from the pan.  If the chocolate starts breaking instead of curling, wait 30 seconds and try again – it’s just too cold.

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Maybe this was the moment you’ve actually been waiting for – cake tasting!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Bernadine says:

    Yum! This looks amazing!

    Like

    1. Thanks Bernadine! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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