On Friday night, my mom made her fantastic lasagna and homemade chocolate chip cookies. The next morning, we had some homemade yeast Belgian waffles (I will be posting the recipe soon!). For lunch, we had a new chicken parmesan dip that we tried out (which was amazing!), along with a taco dip, spinach balls, and homemade pretzels with beer cheese. For dinner (I am still feeling the extra few pounds by the way!), I made Mike's favorite Fiesta Lime Chicken with Honey Cornbread Muffins and rice. We also enjoyed this new take on an old classic cake that I made!! The next morning, my Aunt Mary made a wonderful breakfast of monkey bread and a sausage, egg and cheese bake! Now...to work off all of that food!!
This cake is adapted from my original Chocolate Buttercream Cake with Chocolate Ganache...but 10 times better! It has an extra layer of strawberry cake filling between each layer, along with a row of freshly sliced strawberries around the edge of the cake, and chocolate covered strawberries on top! The cake in this recipe is moist and delicious. You will never look for another chocolate cake recipe after you try this one!
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour (to let the cakes cool)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: a 3-layer, 9-inch cake--serves about 12-14
- 3 cups packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 canola oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/8 cups cocoa powder
- 1 cup water
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 1/2 cups strawberries, cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (If you don't have a vanilla bean, add another teaspoon vanilla extract instead)
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I like to use the mini, because I think they melt quicker!)
- 3/4 Tablespoon light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Approx. 16 fresh strawberries
- Melting chocolate--I love to use the Baker's Dipping Chocolate
- White chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 (10-inch) cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. (You could also grease and flour, but I really love to use parchment paper.)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine brown sugar and oil. Turn the mixer on to low speed and add the eggs, one at a time. Let this mix while you combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Set this dry mixture aside.
- In another small bowl, mix the vanilla into the milk and set aside. Bring your water to a boil and pour over the cocoa. Whisk until smooth. You should now have 4 different bowls of ingredients.
- To the egg mixture, with the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Scrape down the bowl frequently. With the mixer on low speed, add the cocoa. Scrape down the sides and mix until fully incorporated. Don't overmix!
- Pour the batter into the 3 prepared pans. Bake the cakes about 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. When the cakes have slightly cooled, remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. You can also refrigerate cakes to cool.
- Whisk water and cornstarch together in a large saucepan. Add strawberries and sugar to the water and stir. Cook over medium heat until thick, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before assembling the cake.
- Beat butter on medium-high speed with an electric hand mixer until smooth, about 20 seconds. Using a paring knife, remove the "caviar" from the inside of the vanilla beans. Add to the butter and mix on medium-high speed about 15 seconds.
- Add the powdered sugar and salt; beat on medium-low until sugar is fully moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat for another 30 seconds.
- Add vanilla and heavy cream; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds.
- Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Set in the fridge until ready to assemble.
- Place the first cake on a serving plate. Add a large spoonful of frosting and using an offset spatula, smooth the frosting so that it touches the edges of the cake. Allow the frosting to be slightly thicker around the edges of the cake so that the filling will not drip out.
- Place a large spoonful of strawberry filling on top of the frosting and spread around. Continue with the next layer of cake, by doing the same with the frosting and filling, and add the final cake on top. Add the remaining frosting to the top and sides of the cake and smooth.
- Slice the strawberries into medium-thin slices and place around the base of the cake, the entire way around.
- For the ganache, in a heatproof bowl, place the chocolate chips and corn syrup. Bring the heavy cream to a full boil and pour over the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. If you want the ganache to look extra glossy, run the chocolate through a mesh strainer into another dish. Pour the chocolate over the cake and with a clean offset spatula, smooth the ganache over the top. Let the ganache run down the sides. For best results, place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to let the frosting and ganache settle.
- For the chocolate-covered strawberries, melt chocolate in a bowl, or in the Baker's Dipping Chocolate container. By holding on to the green tops of the strawberry, dip into the chocolate almost the whole way to the green, and swirl around gently. Place on a piece of waxed paper to cool. Continue with your desired number of strawberries. Melt some white chocolate, and using a pastry bag with small round tip, drizzle over the dipped strawberries. Place in the refrigerator for an hour to cool.
- When ready to serve, place the dipped strawberries on top of the cake in a nice pattern. Enjoy!!
Source: Adapted from Slice-of-Heaven's Chocolate Buttercream Cake with Chocolate Ganache