Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Buttercream Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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Happy Valentine’s Day!!  I have been dreaming of making this cake for a long time, but wanted to wait and make it for Valentine’s Day.  Chocolate and chocolate covered strawberries are just perfect for Valentine’s day, don’t you think? This cake is a dark chocolate, four layer cake with strawberry swiss  meringue buttercream filling and frosting, covered with a chocolate ganache and topped with white chocolate covered strawberries.  

 

strawberry cake

I have never made a swiss meringue buttercream before.  I found a recipe that looked delicious and I followed the directions perfectly but I still don’t think it came out as I would have liked.  I think I needed to beat the butter a little longer.  Also, I wish I would not have put pink food coloring in it.  Before I put the food coloring in it you could see the bits of strawberries in it and it looked so yummy! For my next cake, I will leave out the food coloring for sure!  I think I need to make swiss meringue buttercream a few more times before I perfect it.  It tastes so much better than regular buttercream, in my opinion! It tastes sort of like a strawberry custard.

chocolate strawberry cake

When I was researching how to make chocolate covered strawberries, I learned a few new tricks! There is something called Paramount Crystals that I bought from my local cake supply store, “Do it with Icing”. It works even better than shortening.  What you do is add one teaspoon of Paramount Crystals to one pound of white chocolate candy melts.  After microwaving the chocolate and Paramount Crystals together, you mix it up and it becomes so silky smooth.  The chocolate stays smooth longer and it is much easier to dip the strawberries in.  It didn’t get hard or chunky and I dipped all of my strawberries in one batch.  I am so happy I found this little trick and that I can share it with you!  I put the strawberries on wax paper and let it dry for a few minutes.

chocolate strawberry cake

The trick I learned about drizzling chocolate over the chocolate covered strawberries was very helpful.  First, I put one strawberry on a piece of wax paper.  Then I started the drizzle OFF of the strawberry on one side and finished OFF of the strawberry on the other side.  I used my arm, not my wrist, to drizzle by going back and forth.  This made a big difference! It made a big mess of chocolate on the wax paper, but they turned out so much better.  Sorry if I am not explaining it well!

 

strawberry cake

 

For the chocolate ganache, one tip is to get a candy thermometer.  Because the buttercream is made with butter, if the ganache is too hot it will melt the buttercream. (I know this from experience!)  After mixing the ganache, let it cool until it is 86 degrees.  Also, make sure that the cake is not too cold or the ganache will set too quickly and may not drizzle down.

 

strawberry cake

 

 

Valentine’s Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

Ingredients

    For Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 5 large, fresh egg whites (150 g)
  • 1-1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) (340 g) butter, cut into cubes and cool, but not cold
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) (or to taste) strawberry puree OR a handful (about 1 cup, or more to taste) of fresh, washed, and dried strawberries, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • few drops pink food colouring (optional)
  • For glaze
  • 4 oz (115 g) high quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or callets
  • 1/3 cup (76 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes

Instructions

    For Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. If using strawberry puree, place a handful of frozen strawberries in a food processor, and process until a smooth puree. Measure approximately 1/4 cup and set aside (you may want to add more puree to taste).
  2. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160°F, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  3. With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes or so). *Don't begin adding butter until the bottom of the bowl feels neutral, and not warm.
  4. Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). *If mixture is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and continue mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together. Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
  5. Add strawberry puree to taste or the finely chopped strawberries, and blend until combined. Add small amount of pink food coloring, if desired.
  6. For Glaze
  7. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until melted and smooth. *Be careful to not get even a droplet of water into your bowl of chocolate and butter.
  8. tips: don't let bowl touch the water when whisking over the pot of simmering water. Also, if you don't have a candy thermometer, you can take a fingerful out and rub it together and see if you can feel any sugar crystals.
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strawberry cake

 

 

 

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40 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Buttercream Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries

  1. It is such an amazing cake!!
    I loooooooooove the colors (pink is my favorite one) and I just love strawberry with chocolate.
    We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day but we do have a similar holiday in a few month. This is a perfect cake :)

  2. It’s actually a nice and useful piece of information.
    I am satisfied that you shared this helpful info with us. Please
    stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. That cake with the chocolate covered strawberries on top is seriously gorgeous if you can call a cake gorgeous. Want to teach me how to decorate a cake? Thanks for sharing on the weekend re-Treat Link Party!

    Britni @ Play. Party. Pin.

  4. Gorgeous! Thank you for linking up at Tasty Tuesdays! Your post has been pinned to my Recipes from Tasty Tuesday board. I can’t wait to see what you link up next week!
    Have a terrific weekend!
    Cathy
    APeekIntoMyParadise.com
    #TastyTuesdays

  5. OMG I could so eat a whole cake, it looks so good Shamene! And so much effort went into making it that just makes it more awesome. Thanks for all the tips, I have been craving some chocolate covered fruit, now I can do it right!

  6. Your Valentines Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake is just beautiful and will be a very special Valentine dessert for someone. Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. I got here from ‘Made From Pinterest’ linky party blog site.
    OMG your cake is divine.
    I’m thinking that you started out by using a chocolate cake mix. Your 4 layer cake is gorgeous but I think; using your recipe, I just might make individual cakes and place strawberry on top.
    Thank U 4 the recipe and Wishing you a Very Happy Valentine’s Day

  8. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break.
    I enjoy the info you present here and can’t wait to take
    a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, superb blog!

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