Strawberry, Chocolate, Strawberry and More Chocolate…

 After dreaming about this cake for weeks, and then totally believing I’d botched the whole job…. I am so, so, so pleased with how it turned out!

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This is actually the first cake I have made for the pure intention of posting it on my blog. You see, I’ve talked about starting a blog ‘one day’ for a long time, but it was after the rainbow layer cake that the urge to bake totally and completely began to consume me. I’d jump into bed with my ipad and pour over recipes until the wee hours of the morning, only to fall asleep with frostings and flavours filling my thoughts and invading my dreams. It was totally overwhelming, an itch I just had to scratch.

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So I did… or rather, I began to. Don’t worry, this isn’t the only cake I’ve been dreaming of…

Chococlate & Strawberry Mascarpone Cake

I smelt these strawberries before I’d even spotted them, you know they are going to be good when you can almost taste the sweetness in the air.

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There are a few parts to this cake, so before I go ahead and start rattling off the lists of ingredients, I’m going to separate the parts for you below.

Chocolate Cake
Strawberry Purée
Strawberry Mascarpone Filling
Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate Coated Strawberries

Rich & Moist Chocolate Cake

I made a 3 layer 6 inch cake, plus 5 cupcakes with this recipe. You could also make a 5 layer cake, or a larger 3 – 4 layer cake.

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Ingredients

Note: I weighed my ingredients – cup measures are an approximation.

220g (1 3/4 cup) plain flour
430g (2 cups) caster sugar
90g (3/4 cup) cocoa
10g (2 tsp) baking powder
5g (1 tsp) baking soda
7.5g (1 1/2 tsp) sea salt
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
240ml coconut milk
240ml strong black coffee
120ml rice bran oil
7.5ml (1 1/2 tsp) vanilla bean paste
5ml (1tsp) white vinegar

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C/350° F/Gas Mark 4.

Prepare your chosen pans, I used a 6 inch springform pan, lining the base with baking paper and greasing the sides with butter.

Sift dry ingredients – flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt – and stir in the sugar.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks, then add the coconut milk, oil and vanilla bean paste.

Pour your wet ingredients into the bowl with your dry ingredients and beat until just combined, then add in the coffee and white vinegar.

Weigh out your layers if you can, I used 300g of mixture for each of my cake layers.

Now, how long you bake it for depends on what sort of cake you want…

I was after a moist cake with that silky just cooked texture, so I took my cake out of the oven after 30 minutes, when the crumbs sticking to the skewer were cooked and cake-like. However, when I went to level my cake (with my handy new cake cutting wire!) the centre of the cake was so moist I was worried I had undercooked it, or, worse even, that the recipe that had filled my thoughts and dreams for so long was a bust. I continued on with my cake anyway, and took the opportunity to bake my cupcakes a little longer.

I needn’t have worried, the cake was beautiful! As were the cupcakes… so it seems this recipe is as good undercooked as it is over cooked. The layer cake was dense, rich and fudge-like, and the cupcakes fluffy and light but still super moist.

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So for a dense fudgy cake, cook your layers for 25 – 30 minutes (6 inch cake), or until it is just set in the middle. For a lighter, fluffy texture, leave them in for about 10 – 15 minutes longer. I cooked my cupcakes for 35 minutes, they puffed up to a lovely big dome in the centre that did not sink when I took them out of the oven – although I did unfortunately have to cut this off to frost them!

Strawberry Purée

Strawberry purée is used to make your filling and frosting.

Ingredients

150g fresh strawberries
15g (1 Tbsp) caster sugar
2 gelatin leaves

Method

Wash and dry your strawberries and place them in a food processor with the sugar, you should end up with about 140ml of puréed mixture.

Gently heat your strawberry purée in a saucepan on the stove with 1 Tbsp of water added. Meanwhile, soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for about 5 minutes.

Once your purée has begun to simmer gently, take the gelatin leaves, shaking off any excess water, and add them to your purée. Allow to simmer for a few more minutes, until gelatin leaves have completely dissolved.

Place purée in the fridge to cool and set. You don’t want your purée to set hard so keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally.

Strawberry Mascarpone Filling

Ingredients

125g mascarpone
60g cream cheese
25g (2 Tbsp) icing sugar
Half of your strawberry purée (or to taste)

Method

Beat mascarpone and cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the icing sugar. Add strawberry purée to taste (I used half the mixture) and beat. Chill until ready to use.

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ingredients

3 egg whites
155g (3/4 cup) sugar
250g butter
50g cream cheese
Half of your strawberry purée (or to taste)

Method

Gently heat your egg whites and sugar over a double boiler until sugar has completely dissolved.

Remove from heat and beat until firm peaks are formed and the base of your bowl has completely cooled. This should take about 10 minutes, and you’ll be left with a very, very dense meringue!

Chop the butter into cubes, it should be room temperature, but still firm to the touch. Add butter pieces to the egg white mixture a little at a time. Your egg whites will collapse a little, but will come together again eventually – just keep beating!

Once your swiss meringue buttercream is thick, glossy and smooth, take about 1/8 cup of  your buttercream and set it aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese and remaining strawberry purée until smooth. Add this to your buttercream a little at a time, beating continuously.

If you’d like your frosting more pink, but less strawberry, just add a little food colouring!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

50g milk chocolate
50g bitter dark chocolate
20 – 30ml (2 Tbsp) cream
75g cream cheese
15g butter
1/2 Tbsp cocoa
1 Tbsp icing sugar
1/8 cup reserved SMB

Method

Gently melt the chocolate with the cream, taking care to not overheat. Set aside to cool.

Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the cocoa and icing sugar and beat, then add the melted chocolate.

Beat in your reserved SMB.

Chocolate Coated Strawberries

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Ingredients

15 – 20 fresh strawberries
50g milk chocolate
50g bitter dark chocolate
1 Tbsp cream

Method

Gently melt the chocolate with the cream, stirring until smooth.

Dip your washed and dried strawberries into the melted chocolate mixture, twisting them to get a good coating. If your chocolate starts to harden, just put it in the microwave on low for 10 seconds at a time.

Balance your coated strawberries on a sheet of baking paper stem side down to get a perfect finish on your chocolate. If the strawberry does not stay upright, just lay it on it’s side on the sheet of baking paper.

Assembling Your Cake

Place your first completely cool and nicely levelled cake layer in the centre of your cake board, or directly onto your cake stand.

Using a piping bag, pipe a dam around the edge of your cake with your strawberry buttercream, this is to stop your filling from leaking out the sides of your cake. Place a couple of spoons of your strawberry mascarpone filling into the centre and spread until it reaches the buttercream dam.

Place your next cake layer on top, taking care that it is centred, and repeat.

If you have the time, refrigerate your filled cake for 20 minutes as this will help keep your filling inside when you move on to the crumb coat.

Crumb coat your cake using the strawberry buttercream, and refrigerate again before frosting your cake with the remaining strawberry buttercream. You can read my post on ‘Building Your Layer Cake’ for a more in depth description of this.

Using a piping bag with a star tip, pipe small swirls of your chocolate cream cheese frosting around the the top edges of your cake, then garnish with chocolate coated strawberries, and you’re done!

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Enjoy… x

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5 thoughts on “Strawberry, Chocolate, Strawberry and More Chocolate…

    1. Thank you! I’d really love to make it again this weekend… but there are sooo many other scrumptious cakes still to be baked. Would love to know if you do give it a try!

      Like

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