I haven’t ever posted a Valentine’s Day recipe before and to be honest I think this one has set the bar rather high if I post anymore. This is delicious chocolate cake, strawberry buttercream decorated with chocolate covered strawberries.
I always associate Valentine’s Day with chocolate covered strawberries so I decided to try and make them into a cake. Although the only chocolate dipped strawberries in this cake are on the top I used the two flavours as the base for the actual sponge, so, the sponge is three layers of deeelicious chocolate cake and the buttercream sandwiching each layer and also coating the cake is strawberry flavoured.
I started by making the chocolate covered strawberries for the top of this cake. When I came to make then I washed the strawberries, melted the chocolate in the microwave and dipped the strawberries in. Because the strawberries had been in the fridge the chocolate hardened so quickly. Once all my strawberries were coated (I used a 400g pack and coated them all) I melted white chocolate, in the microwave again (you can do it using a ban marie if you prefer) and drizzled it over the top of the hardened milk chocolate. I used a disposable piping bag for this and just snipped the end off but you could use a small round piping tip if you prefer. You can add the white chocolate while the milk chocolate is still soft but it might mean they mix together and blend into each other. I put them back into the fridge until I needed them.
For the cake I mixed all my ingredients and baked them (see below for method) and once they had cooled I levelled them. Different bakers have different ways of doing this you can buy a Wilton Cake Leveller if you find this easier but I usually just use a bread knife. All you need to do is to cut the dome off the cake so that the whole sponge is flat. I do this for all three of my sponges and then start to decorate them. The bottom sponge I place on my turntable or cake board and splodge some buttercream on. You don’t need to be neat for this because you will only see it when you cut into the cake. If some of the buttercream splodges out the sides don’t worry about it as you will smooth this into the sides later. Repeat this on the other two layers of the cake, including the top.
For the sides of the cake, I pipe the remaining buttercream around the cake and then using a cake smoother smooth the edges. It will seem like you are using a LOT of buttercream but you put it on the cake then scrape it off put it on scraping it off. Any excess buttercream that has come off when you have smoothed it put in a bowl. If there are any gaps then use that buttercream to fill them and again smooth it with your cake smoother. There is no real scientific way of getting it perfect it really is just practice.
For the drip I use the cream method, I think personally it makes the smoothest ganache and the quickest drying (I am really impatient!) The buttercream I had leftover I piped on top of the ganache once it had dried. I used a Wilton 2D tip, simply because I think it looks pretty, I often use it on cupcakes to swirl the buttercream on top, but for this cake, I just piped stars on top as I didn’t want the chocolate strawberries sitting on top of the chocolate ganache. Last but not least, I piled up the strawberries on top of the cake and I think it looks FAB-U-LOUS! I would be very very happy to wake up on Valentines morning to a slice of this!!
If you have any questions about either this bake or any other on my blog please get in touch either on social media, email or the contact page on my blog. I love to hear what you think or to help if you are struggling with any part of the baking. You can also tag #sarahscakeblog on social media of pictures of your bakes. I would love to see your take on any of the recipes you have found here.
~emosh alert~ The support and love I have received for Sarah’s Cake Blog has been second to none so thank you to everyone who has visited my site and baked my recipes. I am hoping 2019 has big plans for this little blog, in January my views doubled compared to last year. I have already been working with other companies on their own blogs, as well as work with some fantastic small companies. ~ends~
If there are any recipes you would like to see on my blog let me know too, or look out for another poll/QA and let me know what you would like to see whether it be simple or extravagant, cookies, macaroons, or cake. I am constantly thinking of new ideas to try out sometimes it is easy to forget about the simple recipes, so hopefully you will be seeing more of them in 2019 too.
Hints and Tips – This cake will last 2-3 days in the fridge
For the Chocolate Strawberries
200g Milk Chocolate
100g White Chocolate
For the Cake
450g Light Brown Sugar
450g Unslated Butter
450g Self-Raising Flour
50g Cocoa Powder
7 Large Eggs
2tsp Baking Powder
2tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Buttercream
1kg Icing Sugar
500g Unsalted Butter
2tsp Strawberry Flavouring
Pink Food Colouring
For the Drip
200g Milk Chocolate
100ml Double Cream
- Line 2-3 baking trays with baking parchment and leave to one side.
- Wash your strawberries and leave to one side.
- Break up the milk chocolate into a bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on 10-second bursts until it is completely smooth.
- Dip your strawberries into the milk chocolate and leave to set on the baking trays.
- Once the chocolate had solidified (if your strawberries were in the fridge and are cold it shouldn’t take too long) break the white chocolate up into a separate bowl and melt in the microwave in 10-second bursts until completely smooth.
- Pour the chocolate into a piping bag, either with a small round tip or if your piping bag is disposable snip the tip of the bag off and drizzle the white chocolate over the top of the milk chocolate. If you don’t have a piping bag using a fork or spoon would work pretty well to drizzle the chocolate.
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4) line three 8″ cake tins with baking parchment and leave to the side.
- In a bowl mix together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the self-raising flour, cocoa powder, eggs, baking powder and vanilla and mix again until they are all combined.
- Spoon the mixture into your cake tins. There should be approximately 450g in each tin.
- Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. The cakes should spring back when touched or when a skewer is inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool.
For the Buttercream
- In a bowl mix together the icing sugar and butter. Once it is all combined it should be thick and creamy looking.
- Mix in the strawberry flavouring and the pink food colouring. I add the food colouring a little at a time until I get the perfect colour.
- Once your cakes have cooled, place a cake on a plate, spoon some of the buttercream onto the cake and smooth with a knife place the second sponge on top. Repeat on the second and third sponge,
- Spread a layer of the buttercream around the edges and on top of the cake to create a ‘crumb coat’ don’t worry if you can still see the cake through the buttercream the crumb coat shouldn’t be too thick. Put the cake in the fridge for 10-15 minutes for the buttercream to chill.
- Once the buttercream has chilled spread a thicker layer of the buttercream around the edges and on top of the cake. Scrape it around until it is smooth. I use a large scraper to do this. Leave to chill for another 10-15 minutes.
- Any excess buttercream you have keep because you will need it for the decoration.
For the Drip
- In a pan, heat up your 100ml of double cream until just steaming, you don’t want it to be boiling or burning. Take it off the heat add in the milk chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted completely.
- Put the melted chocolate into a piping bag and pipe onto the edge of your cake, encouraging it to drip over the edge.
- Once you have dripped the melted chocolate around the edge pipe the rest of the chocolate on top of your cake and smooth, so the top of your cake is completely covered in melted chocolate.
- Leave the chocolate to set, you don’t want it to be completely set or your decorations won’t stick but you don’t want it to be runny or the sweets will run off the side.
- Put the buttercream from earlier into a piping bag with a star nozzle (I use a Wilton 2D nozzle)
- Pipe the buttercream on top of your chocolate ganache. It is important that the ganache has set or all your piping will just run off the sides.
- Finally, finish with your chocolate covered strawberries from earlier.
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