Two layered Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Frosting

 A delicious two layer chocolate cake with strawberry frosting and white chocolate drip. 


I am not a huge fan of white chocolate, I find it overly sweet and not that chocolatey. However, it has its uses and Dan tells me that all the cooking reality shows use white chocolate for mirror glazes. Recently our condo had a "Nailed It" competition where we had to bake a Valentine's day themed cake matching a picture as closely as possible. We had 36 hours to create the cake and take a picture of it. The only requirement was that we had to make it ourselves - how we did it and the ingredients used were entirely up to us. Below is what we had to create and the above photo is what we made! Since we hadn't quite made a cake like this before, I managed to take a few photos to track our progress.

We realized that the inside of the cake was not pictured so we could make it whatever flavour we wanted (especially if we were going to eat it). I LOVE chocolate so I decided to go with a chocolate cake as the main cake, with strawberry frosting. To make the chocolate cake, we split our batter into two 9 inch round chocolate cake pans (9inch by 2 inch). 

Chocolate Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 240g (1 cup) a double shot of espresso diluted with hot water until it fills one cup
  • 60g (6 Tbsp) dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 388g (1 3/4 cup) sugar
  • 236g (1 1/2 cup) cake flour
  • 180g (1 cup) dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 120g (1/2 cup) olive oil
  • 240g (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions for Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Line the bottom of both cake pans with parchment paper (cut out approximately 9inch circles so they fit exactly) and butter the sides of the pan. 
  2. Pull a double shot of espresso and dilute with hot water until you get 1 cup. In a large bowl pour the hot coffee over the dark chocolate. Wait one minute and then start to whisk the chocolate so that it has melts completely.
  3. In another bowl, mix together sugar, cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer whisk together the egg, olive oil, buttermilk and vanilla together.
  5. While the mixer is still mixing at medium speed, slowly add the chocolate coffee mixture.
  6. Slowly add in all the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Mix until the batter just comes together. The batter may appear lumpy but try not to over mix.
  7. Split the batter into the two cake pans. Bake both pans for approximately 40 minutes. Check that the cakes are done by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the cake. When it comes out clean the cakes are done.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
  9. After they have cooled for an hour, run a knife around the edge of each pan. Then gently flip each cake out. Set the cakes aside to cool completely. 
*We started baking the cakes on Saturday night and allowed them to cool for a night as we had until Sunday midnight to submit the finished product. You could bake the cakes and decorate them all in one day if you wanted. 


Strawberry White Chocolate Frosting 

Ingredients

  • 188g (1 1/4 cup) white chocolate
  • 150g (2/3 cup) whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 84g (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 1 Tbsp white corn syrup
  • 188g (3/4 cup) unsalted room temperature butter
  • 2.5 Tbsp ground freeze dried strawberries
Directions
  1. Place a larger bowl on top of a pot of boiling water. Put the white chocolate in the bowl. Stir occasionally as it melt.
  2. Meanwhile in a smaller pot, combine sugar, water and corn syrup. Bring to a boil.
  3. Stir the hot corn syrup sugar mixture into the melted white chocolate. 
  4. Stir in the freeze dried strawberries into the white chocolate. Stir several times until well mixed. 
  5. Transfer the mixture into the bowl of the stand up mixer. Let cool for at least 1 hour. 
  6. With the paddle attachment, turn the mixer on low. Slowly add the butter in small chunks. 
  7. Whisk until the strawberry frosting is light and airy. 
Assembly of the Chocolate Cake (serves approximately 16 slices)
  1. Take parchment paper off the cakes. 
  2. Place one of the chocolate cakes on a plate, flat bottom down. 
  3. Flip the other chocolate cake on top of the first cake, so that its flat bottom is facing up. This allows you to have a very flat top of a cake.
  4. Shave and slice between the two cakes so that the middle is even and the top of the cake is level.
  5. Remove the top half and spread about 1 cup of the buttercream in the middle.
  6. Put the top half of the cake back on. You should now have a cake with a buttercream layer in the middle.
  7. Do the crumb coat by spreading about 1.5 to 2 cups of frosting around the top and sides of the cake. Make sure to make it as even as possible. At this point it's ok for crumbs to be visible.
  8. Put the cake into the freezer (or in our case, outside in a large covered tub since it was -30 degrees Celsius). Wait about two hours (or about 1 hour outside).
  9. Take the cake out of the freezer and cover with remaining frosting so that no crumbs are visible.
  10. Place back into freezer for at least another two hours (can be multiple days if you cover with food wrap to prevent freezer burn).

Red Chocolate Dripping

Ingredients

  • 70g (1/2 cup) white chocolate
  • 95g (1/4 cup) whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 30g (1 1/2 tablespoons) white corn syrup
  • 1/8 of teaspoon of red powdered color food dye

Directions

  1. Melt white chocolate in large bowl over boiling water.
  2. In a separate small pot, heat whipping cream, water, and corn syrup until near boiling.
  3. Slowly pour the hot cream over the white chocolate while mixing with a spatula.
  4. Keep stirring with a spatula until smooth.
  5. Add the red food dye in parts so that the colour is even.
  6. Take out a large baking pan and put a cookie cooling rack on top of the pan. This is to catch any drippings.
  7. Take the cake out of the freezer and place it on the cookie cooling rack.
  8. Transfer the chocolate mixture into a large measuring cup so that it is easier to pour.
  9. Slowly add more melted chocolate so that it starts to drip over the edges of the cake.
We finished decorating by adding some candy and small chocolates in order to match the picture as closely as we could.
The cake turned out really nicely, it was surprisingly not overly sweet as the strawberry helped balance the sugar. The red chocolate glacage was almost translucent and added a nice shiny top. Confession: I did not make this cake (gasp!) I helped decorate it but in fact, Dan did all the baking and frosting and chocolate drip. I was busy trying to entertain our puppy Luna (she is now 4 months old)! He did a really good job and you can see the evenness of all the layers and glacage. Before tasting it, we were worried that we needed to add layer of jam in the middle to help add more acidity and moisture to the cake but upon tasting the cake on Sunday night we realized we didn't need to worry at all. 

The Nailed It competition was really fun and gave us an excuse to make, eat, and share chocolate cake with our neighbours and friends. Without our neighbours, Dan and I would be eating chocolate cake for weeks on end and no one wants to see that! I have made a similar cake once and Dan has made this cake three times now, and seems relatively easy to modify the flavours to match whatever you want. Try it out and let us know how it turned out.

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