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Valentine’s Cake (Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream, Strawberries, and Chocolate Ganache)

Valentines Cake

O yeah, I am just putting it out there.  Make this cake for your Valentine.  Today or any day of the year.  They will thank you.  My husband’s second piece yesterday was all the thanks I needed.

Valentines Cake1

Chocolate cake.  You saw a wonderful chocolate cake up on this blog yesterday.  Here is a completely different one but with some of the same components and it makes for a completely different cake.  There are a couple of things that, no matter what the recipe, must be in my chocolate cake.

1. Buttermilk (I discovered this little gem in my Cake Doctor days)

2. Coffee or espresso powder (just DO it)

This particular recipe had both and it also had cake flour!  It just kept getting better and better…

First layer of strawberry filling...

First layer of strawberry filling…

So, I broke down and made it for my aunt’s birthday a few weeks ago and paired it with Joy’s Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.  My aunt was in heaven!  And I was impressed that with how light and perfect this cake was, it held up to travel, a sturdy frosting, and a baker who forgot to use wax paper in her cake pans when she was greasing. (OK, it did kinda fall apart upon cutting because of that last part but it made it there and tasted wonderful.)

I knew I would be making this cake again.  But in what capacity?  Hmm…

The only other cake that I ever dreamt about and just had to get up the next day and make it was this one.  So I took my inspiration from there.  I switched the chocolate whipped cream for vanilla.  Since I was going to use less strawberries on the cake I made sure to cram a few extra into the filling.  The chocolate ganache is just a bonus.

My GeekyLink today is iGameMom.  She writes reviews and recommendations for educational children’s apps.  I love this site and have been following it for a long time and have found many an app through her.  My 9 year old even won a science experiment kit from the site.  Well, guess what?  I am going to begin reviewing apps for her as a guest blogger!  I think this is gonna be pretty cool.

Valentines Cake2

Now go make some cake!

Valentine’s Cake

adapted from Nestlé Meals.com

Makes 3, 8 or 9 inch layer cakes (but I only have two pans of each so I like to make a few cupcakes)

Cake

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup brewed coffee or water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature

Method

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Grease the bottoms and sides of three 8 or 9 inch round cake pans and line with a parchment or wax circle.  Grease the parchment then coat lightly with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.

Whisk together buttermilk, coffee, and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside. (This mixture smells SO good!)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth.  Beat in sugar until smooth and creamy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down your bowl when necessary.  When all of the eggs are fully incorporated, alternately beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture and beat.  Scrape down your bowl and add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the rest of the buttermilk mixture and beat.  Add in the rest of the flour and mix until fully incorporated scraping down your bowl as needed.

Pour the mixture evenly into your prepared pans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely.

Whipped Cream

Ingredients

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
extra powdered sugar to taste (optional)

Method

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the whipping cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla and stir.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes and place your whisk attachment in the freezer during the same amount of time.

After the twenty minutes is up, beat until just before soft peaks form.  At this point taste the cream and decide if it is sweet enough.  I added 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar more and it was perfect for me.  If you do add more, give the cream a stir with a spatula till you can’t see any more powdered sugar.  Then continue to whip.  Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.  Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

If you refrigerate, before you use on your cake double check if it is still stiff enough to frost with.  If not, give it a quick whip till you get it back to stiff.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

1 (12oz) package semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons butter

Method

Microwave the semisweet chocolate chips and whipping cream in a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl at medium (50%) power 2 to 3 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt.  Then whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the butter until the butter is completely incorporated.  Let it stand for 15-20 minutes.

It didn’t turn out for me on this day because someone didn’t measure out her chocolate chips correctly.  I used too many.  It looked funny the whole time and even worse after I let it stand to long.  I didn’t realize I could fix it all with just a bit of warm cream till I was pouring it over my cake.  Rest assured, this is the same ganache recipe I use for my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake.

Assembly

1 package fresh strawberries (1/3 cup diced strawberries for filling, the rest sliced for garnish and filling)

Once the cake is cooled, spread a thin layer of whipped cream on your bottom layer just to give your sliced strawberries something to stick to.  In a small bowl, mix a heaping 3/4 cup of your whipped cream and 1/3 cup diced strawberries.  Spread over the sliced strawberry layer as evenly as possible.  Place your second layer over the filling and finish frosting the cake with the remainder of the whipped cream.  Garnish (if desired) on the sides of your cake with more sliced strawberries.

Place wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Put a cooling rack on top of the wax paper and place your cake on the cooling rack.  This is all to catch your drips.  Pour your cooled ganache on top of the whipped cream in the middle of the cake like a puddle and take your spatula or butter knife and slowly ease it over the sides being careful not to disturb the whipped cream underneath.  Garnish with more strawberries.

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About NerdyBaker

My name is Celina. I am a wife and mother of three. I love to bake, go to the movies, read when I can and I am kind of a great big nerd. Just don't tell my husband.

4 responses »

  1. Pingback: WonderCon, Easter, and Birthdays (My Spring Break) | * NerdyBaker *

  2. This cake looks awesome!! I love the look of the chocolate dripping over top!!

    Reply
  3. Another great looking cake! I have found several apps through iGamemom, too! I’m looking forward to your guest posts.

    Reply

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