Strawberry Filled Chocolate Cake

Every year when summer rolls around again, we just cannot get enough fresh fruit!  Each trip to the grocery store, the farmers market, or just the corner store, seems to result in one of us lugging a heavy bag of produce home.  As much as we are loving the fresh peaches, plums and blueberries this year, the strawberries have really captured out hearts… and our taste buds!   We can’t seem to find enough ways to use them!  We’ve topped our cereal in the morning, we’ve added them to salads for lunch, we’ve dipped them in sour cream and brown sugar for a heavenly snack, and now we’ve made THIS strawberry cake filling!  We altered the recipe for Berry Bavarian Cream that we found in Tall One’s Joy of Cooking cookbook.  The fresh strawberry taste really shines through and perfectly compliments the richness of the chocolate.  One of our spatular friends even requested that we make him a bowl of strawberry cream to eat on its own!

INGREDIENTS:

STRAWBERRY FILLING
-1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
-1/4 cup sugar
-2 Tbs cold water
-2 tsp gelatin
-2 Tbs boiling water
-1/2 cup heavy cream

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
-2 sticks butter
-3/4 cup cocoa
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 Tbs cream
-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Start by making your favorite chocolate layer cake (we suggest our One Bowl Chocolate Cake) and letting it cool completely.

To make the strawberry filling, hull and half 1 cup of fresh strawberries and puree them in the food processor until smooth.  Add 1/4 cup of sugar to the strawberries and set aside for about a half an hour.  In a small bowl, add 2 tsp of unflavored gelatin powder to 2 Tbs of cool water.  Let it sit for a couple of minutes to soften the gelatin.  Next add 2 Tbs of boiling water to the bowl and stir quickly with a fork to dissolve the gelatin.  Combine the strawberry puree and the gelatin mixture in a medium bowl and refrigerate for about 15 minutes, or until the strawberries start to set up.

Meanwhile, whip a half cup of heavy cream on high speed with the whisk attachment of your stand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Set the cream aside.  Remove the strawberries from the refrigerator.  At this point they should resemble a thin jam.  Use a spoon to mix the strawberries and break up any lumps.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the strawberries, mixing until they are uniformly distributed.  Return the strawberry cream to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until it has set into a thick filling.


While the filling is in the refrigerator, go ahead and make the chocolate butter cream.  Use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer to cream 2 sticks of butter until light and fluffy.  Slowly mix in the cocoa, vanilla, and cream, then crank up the speed and beat for a little bit longer.  Finally, add the powdered sugar, a half cup at a time, mixing after each addition until the desired consistency is reached.

When assembling the cake, start by topping one of the cooled layers with the strawberry filling.  Try and leave about a half inch border of cake around the filling so it doesn’t ooze out the sides when topped with the other layer. (Learn from our mistakes!)  Frost with the cake with the chocolate butter cream and decorate with fresh strawberries!

Chocolate and strawberries are a girl’s best friend 🙂

XOXO,
Tall and Small

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