Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What We Ate {Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake}

Sometimes, I just get this urge to bake something.  This is odd because while I'm a pretty good cook, I kind of suck at baking.  There's just too much to screw up.  All of those exact measurements and precise baking times....I'm doomed from the start.  But I still get the urge occasionally, nonetheless.  I think it's because I'd really like to be good at baking, but the truth is I screw it up more often than not.  Mr. M. has eaten a lot of questionable baked goods...But I digress.

So anyway, a week or so ago I got it into my head that I wanted...no I needed to bake a cake.  Why, you ask?  No idea.  But part of it is likely because I stumbled upon an amazing recipe that my mother-in-law gave me called 'No Fail Chocolate Cake'.  That stuff is no joke.  I've really never failed at it, which is saying something because usually the only cakes I make come from a box.  I had some baking chocolate and some frozen strawberries on hand, and thought that a chocolate cake with strawberry filling might be within my capabilities. 

Turns out...it was.  This was the best cake I've ever made in my life. You know I had to share it!

No Fail Chocolate Cake
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
6 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix eggs and oil together, then add dry ingredients.  Stir in boiling water.  Bake in three round, greased cake pans 25-30 minutes.  Prepare the frosting and filling while you wait. I would advise making the frosting first, since it takes the longest to chill.

2 bars of semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 stick margarine, cut up into smaller pieces

Bring cream, sugar and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat.  Remove from pan and stir in chocolate until melted.  Stir in butter until smooth and creamy.  Refrigerate until it reaches spreadable consistency (~2 hours).

16 oz frozen strawberries (I'm sure fresh would be wonderful as well)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar

Puree strawberries in a food processor.  Place in a saucepan with cornstarch and sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, over medium heat.  Mixture will thicken as it boils. Once it has reached desired thickness, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once your cakes are completely cool, divide strawberry filling in half and spread between each of the layers, stacking one on top of the other. Once your frosting is ready, frost with chocolate ganache icing.

Plan on working out a lot this week, because you won't be able to stop eating this cake.  Seriously.  It will be like that episode of Sex and the City, where Miranda eats cake from the garbage can. Or you could just plan to give some of it away.  Whatever works.

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