Tag Archives: chocolate cake

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Cake

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Cake 1

Last week, we attended a Boy Scout fundraising auction. I made a few items to contribute, including this Chocolate Covered Strawberries Cake. It is a 4-layer chocolate cake filled with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing. And garnished with chocolate covered strawberries.

There were sooo many delicious looking desserts at the auction. Not a good time to be on a low-carb diet.

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Since I didn’t actually get to cut and eat this cake, I don’t have an inside picture, but it looks similar to this Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake:

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake 5

except that I added sliced fresh strawberries in between the layers with the icing:

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RECIPE:

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Cake

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Cake 1

Ingredients (recipes below):
Chocolate Layer Cake
Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Layer Cake
2 cups flour
½ cup regular cocoa powder
½ cup Dutch process cocoa (or Hershey’s Special Dark)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cups (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 9” cake pans; line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Grease paper and then dust entire pan with cocoa powder.

Combine flour, cocoa powders, baking soda and salt. Mix with a whisk. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars for 5 minutes. The mixture should be very pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until smooth.

Divide batter into prepared pans and bake for 28-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, remove parchment paper and cool.

Cooled cake layers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen until you are ready to assemble them. (For this cake, if you are freezing the layers: cut each layer in half before freezing to make 4 layers).

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing
1 ½ cups egg whites (about 12 large egg whites, or use pasteurized egg whites that come in a carton)
2 ½ cups sugar
pinch of salt
3 cups unsalted butter (6 sticks), at room temperature**
1 Tbs vanilla extract
about 1 ½ cups Strawberry Puree (see recipe below)
about 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (set aside for cake assembly)

In the top of a double boiler, stir together  egg whites, sugar and salt. Bring water in bottom of double boiler to a low simmer; cook until the temperature of the egg whites reaches 160°F and sugar is completely dissolved (rub mixture between fingertips-it should not feel gritty). Mixture will be foamy and not a uniform consistency.

Transfer the egg white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip until meringue is completely cooled and glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. DO NOT ADD BUTTER UNTIL BOTH THE BOWL AND FROSTING ARE COMPLETELY COOL. Switch mixer attachment from the whisk to paddles. Add butter 1-2 Tablespoons at a time until incorporated. Mixture may appear curdled at times. Continue beating until butter is fully incorporated and frosting is fluffy and smooth.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Add vanilla and beat smooth. Add strawberry filling and beat until frosting is a uniform color.

**BUTTER NOTE: butter should be at room temperature soft, but not overly soft. If the butter is too cold, it will not incorporate well into the meringue, and you will have butter chunks. If the butter is over-soft, it will cause the icing to curdle while beating-this is okay, it isn’t ruined: it will just take longer (more beating) for the frosting to become smooth. If icing still won’t set, place in the fridge for 20 minutes, and then beat again.

Strawberry Puree:
2 cups whole fresh strawberries, hulled
2 Tbs sugar

Process strawberries in a food processor until very finely chopped, but not completely liquefied. Mix in sugar.

Chocolate ganache:
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (about ½ cup, slightly heaping)
½ cup heavy cream
2 Tbs corn syrup

Place the chopped chocolate into a small bowl and set aside. In a Pyrex measuring cup or microwavable bowl, combine the heavy cream and corn syrup. Heat for 30-45 seconds; stir. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for one minutes, then stir until smooth.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries:
Fresh strawberries
Chocolate and vanilla melting chocolates

Melt chocolate and vanilla melting chocolates in separate bowls. Dip strawberries in melted chocolate and place on waxed paper.

Place remaining melted chocolates in Ziploc bags and poke a hole in one corner of each bag. Drizzle strawberries with contrasting chocolate.

Let chocolate harden completely before placing on cake.

Cake Assembly:
Completely cool cake layers. Cut each layer in half to make 4 layers. Prepare frosting and ganache.

Place waxed paper strips along edges of serving plate. Place one cake layer, cut side up, on the serving plate. Waxed paper strips should cover the exposed part of the plate, but not be too far under the cake layer. Spread cake with a layer of strawberry icing. Press sliced fresh strawberries into icing. Top with another cake layer. Repeat with frosting and remaining cake layers. Ice entire cake with a thin crumb coat of icing. Refrigerate cake for 2o minutes to set slightly (optional). Create a smooth finish with remaining icing over entire cake (top of cake should be completely flat).

Drizzle cake with ganache, letting it drip down the sides. Refrigerate cake.

Decorate top and base of cake with chocolate covered strawberries.

Storage:  Store cake in refrigerator.

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Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache Glaze

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake 1

This is definitely a cheater recipe, starting with both a chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding mix. But it is easy, delicious and super-moist. Perfect. And baked in a bundt pan it makes a beautiful dessert suitable for serving company.

This is especially delicious served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of each slice.

RECIPE:

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake 1

1 box chocolate cake mix (I used a dark chocolate fudge flavor)
1 small box (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
½ cup warm water
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350°F . Grease and flour a bundt pan (or spray with baking non-stick cooking spray: the kind with flour in it).

In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs and water. Stir in the chopped chocolate and pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely in the bundt pan for about 90 minutes.

Invert onto a serving plate and drizzle with glaze. If desired, serve each slice topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate ganache glaze:

4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (a little more than 1/2 cup)
½ cup heavy cream
2 Tbs corn syrup
1 Tbs granulated sugar

Place the chopped chocolate into a small bowl and set aside. In a Pyrex measuring cup or microwavable bowl, combine the heavy cream, corn syrup and sugar. Heat for 1 minute; stir. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for one minutes, then stir until smooth with a whisk.

Use a spoon to generously drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.

(Adapted from SixSistersStuff)

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

Chocolate and Penut Butter Mousse 033-1
Another fabulous cake from up-and-coming-baker Big A.

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Big A made this cake from the cookbook Chocolate Cakes that she received from a friend for Christmas last year. They did provide a recipe for the chocolate cake, but Big A started with a chocolate fudge cake mix, then made the rest of the cake from scratch. The cake batter has peanut butter cups mixed in (good thing for leftover Halloween candy), and is baked as a one-layer cake.

The top center of the cake is scooped out to create a crater, filled with peanut butter mousse and then the  removed cake pieces are replaced over top of the mousse. More peanut butter mousse is then spread over the entire cake. After a quick chill, the entire cake is covered in chocolate ganache and sprinkled with more peanut butter cups.

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The peanut butter mousse in this cake is fabulous! Especially if you use a good quality natural peanut butter. It is smooth and creamy and perfect for eating with chocolate cake.

RECIPE:

Chocolate and Penut Butter Mousse 033-1

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake
————-(adapted from Chocolate Cakes)

1 box chocolate cake mix (plus ingredients for preparing)
8 oz peanut butter cups; coarsely chop half of the chocolates

Peanut Butter Mousse:
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare cake mix batter as directed on box (or use your favorite recipe). Stir the coarsely chopped peanut butter cups into the cake batter (reserve the second half of the peanut butter cups to garnish the top). Pour entire batter into one 10” round cake pan. (This is larger than a standard cake pan. If you want to use a standard sized pan, make 3-4 cupcakes out of the batter then pour the remaining batter into the pan. It will overflow if you use all of the batter in a standard pan). Bake cake for 40-45 minutes, or until center is set. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then invert cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Prepare peanut butter mousse: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Slowly beat in powdered sugar. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture.

Invert cake onto a serving platter. Leaving a 1-inch edge around the top of the cake, use a small, sharp knife to cut out the center of the center of the cake to create a cavity about 1-inch deep. (Don’t worry about removing it all in one piece) Use a spatula to spread about 1/3 of the mousse  into the hollowed-out center of the cake. Break the removed cake into pieces and return to the center of the cake, on top of the mousse. Mound cake pieces slightly at the center of the cake. Spread the remaining mousse over the top and sides of the entire cake. Refrigerate the cake until the mousse is firm, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare ganache. Allow ganache to cool until thickened but still pourable. Carefully spread the ganache over the top and sides of the cake. Cut remaining peanut butter cups into 1/2” pieces. Scatter over the top of the cake while the ganache is still soft. Refrigerate cake for 1-2 hours before serving.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place chopped chocolate  in a mixing bowl. In a saucepan, heat cream until it comes to a boil. Pour cream over chocolate in mixing bowl and stir until chocolate is melted and glossy.  Stir in vanilla.

For a glaze:
Cool ganache slightly (until thick enough that it won’t run off of the cake, but warm enough that it will still drizzle). Pour ganache over cake, starting in the center of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.

For a cake frosting, or for piping:
The longer you allow the ganache to cool, the thicker it will set.   For piping or for a regular cake frosting, allow the ganache to completely cool and set up at room temperature. Mix with a whisk slightly just before frosting the cake.

For a whipped filling or frosting:
For a thicker, fluffy frosting, or filling for a cake, chill the ganache in the refrigerator until slightly cold, then whip with a mixer until light and fluffy.

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake

OR: How to Make a Chocolate Cake When All You Have Is a Vanilla Cake Mix

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This is a quick and easy dessert that looks much more complicated than it really is. With only 5 real ingredients (7 if you frost the cake) that I always have on hand, it makes a great last minute dessert.

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This cake actually starts with a vanilla cake mix. You could use a chocolate cake mix for a richer chocolate flavor, but then you would have to make your own peanut butter filling, or use part of a vanilla cake mix for that. I’m all for simplicity, so I transformed my vanilla cake mix into a chocolate one by mixing a chocolate pudding mix into most of the vanilla cake batter. The remaining vanilla batter is mixed with peanut butter for the peanut butter filling layer.

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When filling your bundt pan, start by adding about 1/3 of the chocolate batter to the pan. Spoon the peanut butter batter over the chocolate layer, keeping batter away from the edges of the pan (so it won’t show on the outside of the cake). Spoon remaining chocolate batter over the peanut butter layer.

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You can eat this cake plain, but it is so much better with a simple chocolate glaze (or ganache if you want to sound fancy!). Just a mixture of cream and bittersweet (you could use semi-sweet) chocolate. Lovingly drizzled over the edges of your cake.

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RECIPE:

DSC06617-1

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake

1 box (about 18 oz) yellow or white cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
4 eggs
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 small package (4 servings) chocolate pudding mix
Chocolate Ganache Frosting, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large mixing bowl, use a mixer to beat together the cake mix, water, oil and eggs. Remove one cup of batter to a small bowl. Beat peanut butter into reserved one cup of batter. Add the chocolate pudding mix to the large bowl of batter. Beat until well combined.

Grease and flour a 10-12 cup bundt pan  (or use non-stick baking spray with flour). Spoon about 1/3 of the chocolate batter into the prepared bundt pan. Spoon peanut butter batter over the chocolate layer, keeping batter away from the edges of the pan. Spoon remaining chocolate batter over the peanut butter layer.

Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto serving plate and cool completely. Top with Chocolate Ganache frosting, if desired.

Yield: 12-16 servings

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
Optional flavorings: vanilla, almond, orange, or peppermint extract (amount varies depending on strength of extract)

Place chopped chocolate  in a mixing bowl. In a saucepan, heat cream until it comes to a boil. Pour cream over chocolate in mixing bowl and stir until chocolate is melted and glossy.  Stir in flavoring, if using.

For a glaze (this is what I use for the bundt cake):
Cool ganache slightly (until thick enough that it won’t run off of the cake, but warm enough that it will still drizzle). Pour ganache over cake, starting in the center of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.

For a cake frosting, or for piping:
The longer you allow the ganache to cool, the thicker it will set.   For piping or for a regular cake frosting, allow the ganache to completely cool and set up at room temperature. Mix with a whisk slightly just before frosting the cake.

For a whipped filling or frosting:
For a thicker, fluffy frosting, or filling for a cake, chill the ganache in the refrigerator until slightly cold, then whip with a mixer until light and fluffy.

 

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