I know I've seemed to be rather silent on the recipe end lately. I would say that things are getting hectic again, but I have recently realized that a little chaos is going to be the status quo for me this semester. Oh well — at least the stress keeps me in the kitchen creating new desserts each weekend.
February already? I mean, I don't really know where January went, but I'm glad it's gone. As the calendar flips to February, we finally have more holidays — specifically holidays like Valentine's Day that are built around the overconsumption of sugar. I'm not sure about you, but that's right up my alley.
My first Valentine's Day inspired recipe calls on a traditional V-Day treat: chocolate covered strawberries. First off, who doesn't like fresh, sweet strawberries? Nobody. Covered in chocolate? It's a no brainer. How do we elevate this already near perfect dessert? Make it into a cake!
For this cake, I used my favorite, ultra-moist and fudgey chocolate cake recipe. (Seriously, it's the best.) The two cake layers are then wrapped inside a layer of the most deliciously sweet and refreshing strawberry frosting made from a puree of fresh local strawberries. On top of that goes a layer of chocolate ganache. And why not throw some fresh strawberries on top? Perf!
Your valentine is sure to be impressed with this amazing cake. Or if you're eternally single like yours truly, you could eat a huge chunk of it with an oversized dollop of fresh whipped cream and call it a night. I mean, hey, who needs a boyfriend when you can have cake?
- 1¾ cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot coffee
In the large bowl of a standing mixer, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt until combined. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth (about 3 minutes). Stir in hot coffee with a rubber spatula. (This will make the batter very runny, don’t worry!)
Pour batter evenly between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven preheated to 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and ice with strawberry frosting. Top with chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries.
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 lb. confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
In a blender or food processor, puree strawberries until smooth. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and salt until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners sugar, mixing until well combined. Add vanilla and 8 tablespoons of strawberry puree. Combine; the mixture should be thick.
- 8 oz. quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
In a double boiler of simmering water, add chopped chocolate to the heavy cream. Melt until combined, stirring occasionally. Note: If your ganache is too thick, you can thin in out by adding small amounts of heavy cream to the mixture.