Chocolate covered strawberries: luxurious, rich, decadent,delicious… What could make them even better? How about a whole cake inspired by them?
I combined rich chocolate cake layers with luscious strawberry Swiss meringue frosting, and topped the whole thing off with a robe of melted chocolate and a ring of strawberries.
Fresh Strawberry Frosting (Inspired by Sweetapolita)
- 5 egg whites
- 3 sticks of unsalted butter (1.5 cups) – softened
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 1/4 cup strawberry puree (I used frozen-thawed strawberries and put them in the blender for 30 seconds)
- pinch of salt
- pink food coloring (optional)
Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler. Place over simmering water and stir gently but frequently until the mixture reached 160F on a candy thermometer (about 5 minutes). Pour this into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat until it forms stiff, glossy peaks and the bottom of the work bowl no longer feels hot (that part is important!). This might take 10 minutes or so, take an Instagram break and wait it out!
Now that the meringue is no longer hot, switch out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment, and start adding the softened butter a few tablespoons at a time. If things start to look curdled, turn up the speed and just beat it into submission. If after all the butter is in, it looks too runny and not like frosting, put it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up, then resume mixing. If everything is looking good, texture wise, add in the salt, vanilla and strawberry puree. If it’s not quite pink enough, go ahead and cheat with a little food color :)
Melted Chocolate Glaze
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Melt the chocolate and the butter together in the microwave or over a double boiler. Stir well. Use right away.
The trick to getting a nice, drippy, melty chocolate look, is to have your frosted cake very cold when you add the chocolate on top. The butter in the chocolate makes it firm up more quickly, so if you spread a thin layer on top of a cold cake, and gently frost out to the edges with a bit of spillover, it will firm up and stay in those drips. I love how this turned out, and am already thinking of other cakes I could use this look on!