Last weekend, our neighbour Ivy celebrated her 91st birthday. NINETY-ONE!
This was definitely cause for a celebration cake. A bit of sneaky research revealed that creamy cakes are her favourite, so I set about making this strawberries and cream chocolate layer cake.
I used the same sponge recipe that I used for the chocolate gateau a while ago, but baked it in three layers as it rose out of the tin last time. I think this is definitely going to be my go-to recipe for chocolate layer cakes, it’s fudgey, chocolatey, and can hold the weight of several layers on top.
I spread each of the bottom two layers with melted strawberry jam, then piled on whipped cream with chopped strawberries mixed in. The top layer of the cake was decorated with a layer of chocolate ganache, halved strawberries arranged around the edge, and white chocolate writing.
We finished the cake with a few candles and took the it round to surprise Ivy. She loved it!
Strawberries and cream chocolate Ivy cake:
For the sponge
- 250ml buttermilk
- 125g plain chocolate
- 125g butter or margarine
- 250g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 300g self raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Cream together the butter and sugar then beat in the eggs one at a time. Sieve the dry ingredients into the cake and fold until well combined. Beat in half of the buttermilk, then the melted chocolate and remaining buttermilk.
Divide the mixture between three 7″ tins (I only have two so I baked then in two goes, and weighed the mixture to make sure each tin had the same amount). Bake at 180 degrees on the middle shelf of the oven, for approximately 2 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
For the filling and decoration
- 300g strawberries
- 275ml double cream
- 50g icing sugar
- 3-4 tbsp strawberry jam
- 75g dark chocolate
- 25g white chocolate
Halve 8 of the strawberries for the decoration and set aside. Finely chop the rest. Whip the cream until soft peaks are starting to form, then stir in the icing sugar and chopped strawberries.
Melt the jam, then brush onto two of the sponge layers. Divide the cream mix between the two sponges, and sandwich together.
Place the dark chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until almost boiling, then pour over the chocolate and stir until well mixed. Refrigerate until thick enough to spread, then spread onto the third cake layer to within 1cm of the edge. Arrange the halved strawberries around the edge of the cake, then leave in the fridge until the ganache is set.
Melt the white chocolate and transfer to a piping back for the writing. It’s easier to decorate the top before it goes on the cake, so once the writing is done add the third layer. Add candles and celebrations and enjoy!