Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

March means...


And St. Patrick's Day!

And most importantly, my birthday (which is actually also the first day of Spring)!

No, this is not my birthday cake- not enough chocolate. It's just a fun, pretty, fruity cake to celebrate the imminent end of winter and the beginning of Spring.

It's light and sweet, and pink!

And because chocolate covered strawberries are the perfect indulgence (any time of year), I added some luscious dark chocolate ganache over top.

Don't you just love those drips? So seductive.

Strawberry Cake
Yield: One 2-layer 8'' cake; or One 3-layer 6'' cake

1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2/3 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
11 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1cup, plus 3 Tbsp sugar
2 oz strawberry gelatin
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 8'' pans or three 6'' pans with non-stick spray (or butter, then flour). Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
2. Thaw the strawberries in the microwave for a few seconds, just so they're no longer frozen. Puree in a food processor or blender and pour the puree into a small bowl or large measuring cup. Add the milk and vanilla extract and set aside.
3. Into a separate medium bowl, sift the cake flour together with the baking powder and salt and set this aside as well.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar and gelatin with the paddle attachment. Cream at medium speed until light and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
6. Alternate adding the reserved strawberry liquid with the dry ingredients to the creamed butter. Begin and end with the flour mixture.
7. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for at least 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes:
  • You can strain the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds, but I skipped this step and hardly noticed them in the baked cake.
  • Be sure to grease your cake pans and parchment paper well with this cake.
  • This cake is on the dense side, as opposed to being light and fluffy. I really didn't mind the texture, but because of this, I wouldn't recommend using this recipe for cupcakes.
Strawberry Buttercream

4 egg whites
1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter
3-4 Tbsp strawberry puree
Pink food coloring (optional)

1. If making the strawberry puree, defrost 10-15 frozen strawberries and puree in a food processor or blender. Set aside.
2. Combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk continuously until the mixture is warm and the sugar has dissolved, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Immediately put the bowl back on your mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until thick and fluffy and the bottom of the bowl feels cool, not cold.
4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and start adding the butter gradually until all the butter is incorporated. Add the strawberry puree and food coloring last.

Recipe Notes:
  • I didn't add any food coloring to my buttercream (because I forgot), but I think it would look extra pretty with a little added color. 
  • I strained my puree through a fine mesh sieve so there wouldn't be seeds in the buttercream, but that was purely for aesthetic reasons. Leaving them in is perfectly fine too.
  • If your buttercream is soupy, place the whole bowl in the fridge until it is chilled, about 10-15 minutes, before returning it to the mixer to beat until smooth.
Chocolate Ganache

7 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream

1. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
2. Heat the cream over medium heat until it just comes to a boil.
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Shake the bowl gently to ensure the cream completely covers all the chocolate. Let sit for a minute.
4. Whisk the ganache until it is smooth and shiny. Allow to cool slightly. Pour over the frosted cake, allowing some to drip down the sides. You can smooth the top with an offset spatula.

Recipe Notes:
  • If your ganache cools before all the chocolate has melted, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water to re-heat it, and whisk until smooth.
  • You will have plenty of ganache left over (enough to completely enrobe the cake in chocolate if you want). Store it covered, in the fridge, and you can always reheat it for another project! Or just to pour over ice cream. Whatevs.

1 comment:

  1. I had the pleasure of eating this cake and while I am not a huge fan of sweets who doesn't love the occasional dark chocolate dipped strawberry... Or a dark chocolate dipped strawberry cake. Well done Morgan.



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