Strawberry + Chocolate Cake

Over the weekend we had some strawberries that needed to be used up so I came up this cake. It's devil's food chocolate cake with diced strawberries mixed with whipped cream for the filling, covered with strawberry swiss meringue buttercream, then chocolate ganache poured over. This was my first time attempting to pour ganache on a cake, and in my haste forgot to thin it down a bit, whoops!

Want to hear something funny? A few nights ago I had a dream that someone wrote me a Yelp review saying that they never tried my cakes but thought they looked boring because of the way I frost them. When I woke up I realized that as much as I love a simple frosted cake, I should add a little detail here and there. Consider this ganache my first foray into something a little more elaborate.

Edit: Here is the recipe, enjoy!

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

8 large egg whites (225g) 2 c sugar (400g) 1 lb butter, cubed 1 tbsp vanilla 3-5 tbsp strawberry jam pinch of salt

In a double boiler, gently heat egg whites and sugar to 140 F. Take off stove and transfer to stand mixer, then whisk until thick, glossy, and cool to the touch. Change to paddle attachment and slowly incorporate butter, with mixer on low. Finish off with salt, vanilla and strawberry jam.

Notes: Try to take out any lumps of strawberry jam or it might not incorporate well into your buttercream. For any additional help I would suggest reading Sweetapolita's swiss meringue buttercream tutorial.

Strawberry Filling:

1 c strawberries, diced 1 c whipped heavy cream

Dice strawberries and let any excess liquid drain though a fine mesh sieve. Whip cream to stiff peaks, then gently fold in strawberries.

Chocolate Ganache:

8 oz chocolate, chopped into small pieces 3/4 c heavy cream

Place chocolate into medium sized bowl. Heat cream just until boiling, then immediately pour over chocolate. Allow to stand for a few minutes, then gently stir until smooth. Transfer to a container with a spout (such as a pyrex measuring cup) and slowly pour over cake.

Chocolate Cake:

Use your favorite chocolate cake recipe. I have had success with Martha's Devil's Food Cake.

Cake Assembly:

Bake two 6" round chocolate cakes. Let cool, then cut both in half, leaving you with 4 rounds. Place 1 cake layer on top of cake board or cake stand. Add 1/4 of the strawberry filling, being careful not to spill over the edges. Repeat process until all cake layers and filling are used.

Coat entire cake with a thin layer of strawberry swiss meringue buttercream (crumb coat). Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until frosting is no longer tacky. Coat with an even layer of buttercream and smooth out with offset spatula. Refrigerate for 20 minutes and make chocolate ganache. Pour ganache over cake.  Cake best eaten the same day.