Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chocolate Strawberry Celebration Cake

When I get my Taste of Home magazines in the mail every month, I get so excited.  I love them.  I remember when they had a cake contest in one of their issues.  I saw this cake, and I got all excited.  I love chocolate.  I love strawberries.  I love little swirly chocolate garnishes.  Okay... maybe not so much with the swirly things, but still... doesn't this cake look awesome?  It tastes as good as it looks.  It's moist, chocolatey, and it has some fruit.  :)  Bonus!
Chocolate Strawberry Celebration Cake:
source: Taste of Home 2011 Annual Recipes

1 pkg chocolate cake mix
3.9 oz package instant chocolate pudding mix
4 eggs
1 c sour cream
3/4 c water
1/4 canola oil
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate

2 c butter, softened
4 c powdered sugar
3/4 c cocoa
1/2 c milk

2 oz semi-sweet chocolate

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 c heavy cream

Preheat the 350.  Prepare two 9-inch round pans by coating them with butter and dusting with flour.

Combine the first seven ingredients in a mixer.

Beat on low speed for 30 seconds.  Beat an additional two minutes on medium speed.  Look at that swirly goodness in that mixer!
Pour into the prepared pans.  Bake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

 Remove the pans from the oven and cool on the counter for 10 minutes in the pan.  Run a butter knife around the outside of the pan to loosen the cake from the side of the pan.  After the ten minutes, invert them onto cooling racks.
 For the frosting, combine the softened butter, powdered sugar, and cocoa.  Mix it until it's blended.  Add the milk and mix to combine.

Place the bottom layer on the serving plate.  Frost the top of that one.  Place the second cake layer on top.  Frost the top and sides of the cake.  If any one has any tips on frosting a cake to make it look smooth, I'm all ears.  I cannot decorate cakes or make them look nice.  At least they taste good!
 To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate into a bowl.  Put the 1/2 c cream in small saucepan.  Heat just to a boil.
 Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate.
 Stir it until it's smooth.
 Pour all of that on top of the cake.  Use a spatula to spread it over the whole top of the cake.  You want some of it to drip over the edges of the cake and go down the sides.
 Wash the strawberries and cut off the stem.  Place them, cut side down on the cake.
 I didn't take pictures of how to make the chocolate swirlies, but it's really easy.  Place 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips in a ziplock bag.   Melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds or until it becomes smooth when you squeeze it in the bag.

Cut off a tiny bit of the bottom corner.  Now you have a faux pastry bag.  Place a piece of wax paper on a plate.  Squeeze the chocolate out of the bag and make designs.  Just swirl it, write letters, make outlines of George Washington... whatever you'd like.  No matter what you do, it will stay once it refrigerated.  Once you have about 10-15 of them, place the plate in the fridge.  Let them cool until they have hardened- about five minutes.  Carefully pull the off the wax paper and place them on the cake in between the strawberries.

There you are!  A delicious and beautiful chocolate cake to devour on any day of the week- no celebration required.

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