Let's be honest, there are not many people in this world who don't like strawberries but do you know anyone who doesn't like chocolate covered strawberries? I can not think of anyone. They are the best treat if made with a good quality chocolate and nice red and juicy strawberries. This chocolate cake is filled with fresh strawberries and the best strawberry frosting. The best of all: It is topped with the delicious chocolate covered strawberries.
Chocolate + Strawberry = LOVE Wouldn't you agree?
Read here why this chocolate cake recipe is the best in my opinion!
How to make chocolate covered strawberries?
Read here all my tips on how to make chocolate covered strawberries that taste delicious and keep fresh for days!
Strawberry buttercream - flavorful?
Is it not amazing how much flavor and color freeze dried strawberries add to a frosting without changing its constancy? If you are like me and you cannot have too much flavor feel free to add strawberry extract to your frosting or make a cream cheese frosting with adding 8 oz of cream cheese to your buttercream. If you feel fancy you can spread some quality strawberry jam on the cake layers before adding the frosting (just the cake layers that are getting filled, not the top one).
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake
Ingredients for 4 6-inch cake layers
2 1/4 cups (450 g) sugar
3 cups, 2 tbsp (330 g) flour
1 cup 2 tbsp (110 g) cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) butter milk
3/4 cup (185 ml) vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cup (375 ml) coffee, hot
9 large egg whites
2 1/4 cups (450 g) sugar
2 cups (454 g) butter, softened
3 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups (60 g) freeze dried strawberries, powdered
For the drip:
1/4 cup (75 ml) heavy cream
3 oz (100 g) dark chocolate
Chocolate covered strawberries:
10 medium sized strawberries
5 oz (150 g) quality milk chocolate
2 oz (60 g) dark chocolate or white chocolate (for the drizzle)
1 quart (1 l) water
1/2 cup (120 ml) white vinegar
pink food coloring (optional)
1/2 cup (60 g) powdered sugar (for swirls on top)
Start off with a large bowl. Combine the sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla. Add oil and butter milk. Mix it until fluffy. Sift in flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda and mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the hot coffee; the batter will be very thin.
Divide the batter evenly among 4 6-inch cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean. Cool the layers in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Swiss meringue buttercream whisk egg whites and sugar in a fat-free heatproof bowl and place it on a pot with simmering water (bain-marie). Whisk it continually until soft peaks form for about 10 minutes. The mixture is warm enough when the sugar has fully dissolved.
Take the meringue out of the water bath and whisk it with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Mix in the butter in small pieces. Keep mixing it until it comes together in a smooth buttercream. Add the vanilla, and strawberry powder (*see notes). Mix it until smooth. If you want a more intense color add some pink or red gel food coloring.
To decorate the cake, place the bottom layer on a plate and spread a thin layer of strawberry buttercream on top and smooth it out. Top it with sliced strawberries and add the second cake layer. Repeat the step two times and place the last layer on top. Cover the cake with buttercream on the top and its sides. Smooth it out and let it cool in the fridge for about 40 minutes or place it in the freezer for 8 to 10 minutes.
When the cake is cooled add a final layer of buttercream and smooth it. Let it cool for at least 40 minutes. While the cake is cooling make the chocolate ganache. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer and pour the hot cream over the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Let it sit for 3 minutes, then whisk it until it comes together. It should have a smooth consistency but not be too runny. Let the ganache cool to almost room temperature while the cake is cooling in the fridge. I like to fill the ganache in a piping bottle but you can also use a small spoon to add the drip. Decorate the cake and place it in the fridge for 5 minutes to let the drip set.
While the cake is in the fridge mix the rest of the strawberry buttercream with powdered sugar to get a stiffer consistency. Pipe swirls on top of the cake and garnish with chocolate covered strawberries. (Read here how to make chocolate covered strawberries). I used a Wilton 6B tip for the swirls. Keep the cake in the fridge until served. Cutting it while it is still cold makes it way easier.
No coffee fan or no coffee at home for the chocolate cake? Just use hot water instead.
To grind the freeze dried strawberries mix them in a food processor or use your hands to crumble the strawberries in the bag. I recommend to sift the strawberry powder to make sure no big pieces get into the frosting.
To intensify the color of the buttercream quickly fill about half a cup of buttercream in a microwave save bowl and add a good amount of food coloring. Microwave it for about 10 seconds and stir it. The color has depend and the buttercream softened. Combine it with the rest of the buttercream.
Add another color highlight with different colored buttercream swirls on the top of the cake!