Sometimes you just want cake.
Last week I randomly got an intense craving for cake. Well, maybe one of the 50-or-so food blogs I read had something to do with it. Regardless, I needed get baking.
I browsed through my bookmarked recipes and saw the LA Times' Celestial Chocolate Cake — chocolate with a whipped cream center and chocolate frosting. It made me think to do a chocolate cake with whipped cream both in the center and coating the entire thing.
Then as I was walking to the store to get cream, I thought I smelled strawberry shortcake. It is unlikely there was any strawberry shortcake in the vicinity, but whether there was the faint scent of another cake in the air or just in my head, it was enough to change my plans.
So chocolate cake with whipped cream and strawberries it was. And it absolutely hit the spot.
Chocolate, Strawberries and Cream Cake
I used the chocolate cake recipe from my Chocolate Dulce De Leche Cake, but cut it in half, so I would have two thin layers, instead of three regular-sized ones. Then I made whipped cream as I usually do, and put strawberries between the layers and on top.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
- 3/4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar (This reacts with the baking soda to make a great texture after the batter cooks. There is no discernible vinegar taste.)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
For filling and frosting
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar (this is a guess, do it to your tastes)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced (I'd say in fours for an average-sized berry)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of two 8-inch round cakepans. (I used the same pan twice)
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together. Add oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Divide equally between the cake pans.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool. (A little while after taking the cake out of the oven, I popped it in the freezer for 10 minutes so I could get the cake cool enough to transfer to a wire rack so that I could start cooking the second layer in the same pan.)
When both layers are completely cool, prepare the whipped cream frosting. In a mixing bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. This happens quicker when cream and bowl are chilled.
Place one layer of cake on a plate lined with wax paper. Spread thick layer of whipped cream across the top. Cover with strawberry slices. Put second layer on top, then frost the entire cake. Arrange more strawberries on top for decoration.
Keep chilled so whipped cream doesn't melt.