My family, for all the years and all the parties, is usually big buttercream fans. However, every once in a while my grandma or my aunt would switch it up and have a whipped cream cake with strawberries. I don’t know if it was the season or they just wanted to change it up, but us kids were never really happy about it. Whether the cake itself was white or chocolate was about a 50/50 chance. Now that I am older, though, and bake more I have certainly come to appreciate a good whipped cream (really, it isn’t that hard to appreciate).
One day last week, I just really wanted cake. Strawberries were on sale, I knew I needed them to try something but I couldn’t remember what it was (getting old, ugh), so I figured I would make a cake with a whipped cream frosting and add the strawberries in the filling. I wanted to eat it at home alone with my husband and my kids and basically just hoard the thing. Then my aunt called. She said my cousin, who is a Marine Reservist, was shipping out next week and we were going to get together the next day to wish him well and send him off. I baked the cake (I ended up choosing chocolate), put it in the fridge, and decided to save it for the family.
I slept, not knowing what exactly I was going to do for the frosting. I did want to still do whipped cream but sometimes whipped cream can be so temperamental. I mean, you have to do it just right and I don’t think I have ever frosted a whole cake with it before. Did I want to add anything to it to try and help it hold up (I did not), vanilla or chocolate (chocolate obviously), granulated sugar or powdered sugar (granulated had been working for me so I used that but then ended up adding some powdered sugar to taste)? In the end, it turned out pretty fantastic if I do say so myself, I just wish I had added a few more strawberries in the filling. Even my sister, a lifelong hater of whipped cream frosting, really liked it. I also wish however, that I was able to take a better picture of the sliced cake. I did take some cake home but my son and I got into the leftovers before it even occurred to me to take another picture. It was good, sue me!
So with all that family talk my GeekyLink this week is something for my sister and brother. We were big Growing Pains fans back in the day and I bought the first two of many compilation books of the Walking Dead for my sister for Christmas (OK, kinda for me too but that’s how we roll). This speaks to both of those things The Walking Dead Season 2 Alternate Title Sequence.
Chocolate Cake with Strawberries and Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup milk (next time I’ll use chocolate milk, it was this trick my aunt used to do)
2/3 cup plain hot coffee
Whipped Cream Frosting
I adapted this to make enough for an entire two layer 9-inch cake, including filling. I had enough left over that if I wanted to do some decorative piping with it, I could have.
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
7 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
a few tablespoons of powdered sugar to taste (optional)
16 ounces strawberries (I used a bit less but I wish I had used the whole thing)
Preheat your oven to 350°. Grease the bottom of two 9-inch cake pans. Place parchment paper circles on the bottom of each pan and then grease the paper. Dust each pan with cocoa powder. Set aside.
Sift the dry ingredients together and place in a large mixing bowl.
Add eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk and beat for a few minutes until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and slowly add the hot coffee and mix until well incorporated.
Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 28-30 minutes.
Cool for about 5 minutes in the pans and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
This particular method is my favorite mostly because it hasn’t failed me yet! It doesn’t get grody in the fridge or upon standing for awhile and generally just whips up nice and stiff. Still it is best not to make the frosting for a whipped cream cake until the day you are going to use it.
In a large mixing bowl, place all of the ingredients except powdered sugar and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place the bowl and wire whisk in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Then beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.
Taste it, yum. If you feel you want it sweeter, add some powdered sugar 1-2 tablespoons at a time and either turn your mixer on low (only do this with a stand mixer, a hand held mixer’s low setting is too high) to incorporate it or whisk it in slowly by hand. Do this as many times as you like until it is as sweet as you want it. I ended up adding 5 tablespoons.
Trim the tops off of your cake layers with a long serrated knife if you want a nice flat top or don’t if you don’t. I sometimes like my tops a bit rounded, to me it looks more homey or sometimes I just can’t be bothered. I did trim mine a bit for this one.
Rinse and pat dry your strawberries. After slicing them, pat the slices dry. Place a thin layer of frosting on the bottom layer and add about 1/3 -1/2 of the sliced strawberries. Cover the strawberries with another thin layer of frosting and add your top layer of cake.
Finish frosting your cake and decorate with the remaining sliced strawberries as you desire. Refrigerate till serving.
You wanna know what torture is? Driving for a half hour with this cake on your lap in a cake box that wouldn’t completely close. It smelled divine!
This would make a GREAT cake for Valentine’s Day!
I am doing another blog hop! This one is right up my family’s alley…
February is #chocolatelove month!
Please join in on the #chocolatelove fun by linking up any chocolate recipe from the month of Februrary 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #chocolatelove event! The twitter hashtag is #chocolatelove :).
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