CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY CAKE

Take chocolate dipped strawberries to the next level with this dreamy Chocolate Strawberry Cake!


INGREDIENTS

Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 3/4 cup hot strong brewed coffee or hot water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Strawberry Buttercream:
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter cubed, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 1 cup whole strawberries - stemmed, hulled, and pureed)

Ganache:
  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 2 oz heavy whipping cream

INSTRUCTIONS

Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F, grease three 6" round baking pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line bottoms with parchment.
  2. Place all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk all wet ingredients (pour coffee/water in slowly as not to cook the eggs if very hot).
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium for 2-3 mins. Batter will be very thin.
  5. Pour evenly into prepared pans. I used a kitchen scale to ensure the batter is evenly distributed.
  6. Bake until a cake tester comes out mostly clean. A total of 30-35mins.
  7. Cool 10minutes in the pans then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, cut each layer in half horizontally to get 6 layers.

Strawberry Buttercream:
  1. Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.*
  2. Place bowl over a hot water bath on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 3mins).
  3. Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins)).
  4. Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth.
  5. Add strawberry puree and whip until smooth.**

Ganache:
Place chopped chocolate and cream into a microwave safe bowl. Stir to combine. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir. Microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring in between, until ganache is smooth and silky. Set aside to cool completely and thicken slightly before using on cake.

Assembly:
Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving dish. Top with about 2/3 cup buttercream. Repeat with remaining layers. Frost and smooth the outside with a thin crumb coat. Chill for 20mins.

Frost the cake. Using a small spoon, place dollops of ganache around the top edges of the cooled cake, allowing some to drip down. Fill in the top of the cake with more ganache and spread evenly with an offset spatula.***
Top with decorative dollops of frosting (I used Ateco tip 847), whole strawberries, and a pearl border (using Wilton tip 12).

NOTES

* Ensure there is NO trace of egg yolks in your whites and that your mixer bowl and whisk is completely grease free or your meringue won't stiffen.

** The buttercream may look like it's curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth. Some people have had issues with the frosting curdling once the strawberries are added -- this is due to excess water in the berries. You can either strain your chopped berries or press them in a paper towel to remove excess water. Alternatively you can use strawberry jam instead of fresh strawberries.

*** You may have some ganache left over.

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