Thursday, May 26, 2011

chocolate strawberry truffle layer cake

A chocoholic friend of mine asked me to make a cake for two of her coworkers that were celebrating birthdays this month. See, at her new workplace, the last Friday of every month, they celebrate the month's birthdays, and since they celebrated hers last month, she was in charge of bringing the cake this time around. Isn't that a great concept? So fun!

So I had a blast putting together a board of ideas for her to chose from. And in the end, she asked for a chocolate cake. Of course, I should have known. I've been looking for a reason to make this recipe for a little while. I mean, how moist and delicious does that cake look! Seriously, go take a peek. Here.

Moist Chocolate Cake
recipe source: foodess

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee (or 2 tsp instant coffee in 1 cup boiling water, or simply 1 cup boiling water)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 9-inch baking pans with parchment paper and lightly oil the sides, set aside. In the large bowl of a standing mixer, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract; beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in hot coffee. Pour batter evenly between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

I doubled that recipe, poured it into three 9-inch round pans, and made the rest of the batter into a dozen cupcakes for our enjoyment (selfish, I know) and so my friend's husband and son could have taste too. That's the worse part of bringing cake to work, the people who smelled the cake baking, and licked the spatula don't get to have any! No more when you bake cupcakes alongside the cake!

This cake bakes beautifully. Almost no dome. As it cools, it shrinks from the sides of the pan a tiny bit, so it's super easy to remove. And the smell! Oh yum. And one bowl people, one bowl. Very important, especially when you're trying to make that night's dinner at the same time. If you're going to double the recipe as I did, be aware that it will fill the bowl of a large standmixer right to the top. It might spill over. You've been warned.

Inspired by sophisticated gourmet, I filled the cake with strawberry jam, and just to make it a tiny bit more sinful, I drizzled the jam with chocolate ganache.

recipe source: joy of baking

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. (Can also heat the cream and butter in the microwave.) Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand, without stirring, for a few minutes. Stir gently (as you do not want to incorporate air into the ganache) with a spoon or whisk until smooth.

I love making ganache. I just find it so cool how once you start stirring the mixture, it looks like yucky brownish soup, and then, in the middle appears a wonderfully thick and glossy chocolate sauce. I'm a geek. I used mostly dark chocolate, and maybe 2 ounces milk chocolate. It was super good. I can't wait to have the leftovers with ice cream!

I had a hard time deciding what kind of icing to top this cake with. I thought a chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream would be nice, considered a sour cream frosting, but then settled on a plain chocolate frosting. Simple. I tweaked the recipe a bit, because I thought it tasted a bit too much like icing sugar. So I poured half of the chocolate ganache I had made to fill the cake with into the frosting. Fixed that problem.

Chocolate Frosting
recipe source: suitable for consumption
Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 2/3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream the butter in a large bowl. Blend in the vanilla and alternate the cocoa powder and icing sugar with the cream.

Beat with an electric mixer, adding enough cream to reach desired texture. 

I think it turned out pretty good. And the texture was fun to work with. I can actually say that I enjoyed frosting this cake. It helped that I wasn't feeling any pressure to make it perfect, as I knew I was going to cover the sides with Kit Kat bars. 12 of them to be exact. It was easier to place them on the cake where my frosting was messy, but overall, they just stayed right where I put them. Very easy.

Add a shiny red ribbon to hint at the strawberries and the kit kat wrappers, and you've got a pretty decent cake. I've had a cupcake or two. It's a really good cake. I think it might just become my go-to chocolate cake recipe. Perfectly moist and flavorful, keeps really well. Awesome cake.

J'espère que tes collègues l'ont aimé Mylène!

P.S. I have a new cooking blog if you want to drop by and say hi :)


  1. Oh my, that cake looks like heaven. Nothing better than chocolate and berries!

    I love those kitkats around it. This is a great idea for people who are terrible at frosting (i.e., me).

  2. I made this cake for a work party. I added a small bit of the ganache on top of the cake without spilling over the side and placed small chocolate covered strawberries on the top. It was a great hit! Thank you for sharing...


I'd love to read what you think. Or just say hi! Happy to know someone is reading me :) sorry about the word verification... too much spam :(