Chocolate & Fresh Strawberry Cake

You cannot go wrong when it is chocolate & strawberries. This is my very first post in preparation for Valentine’s Day.  My hubby loves chocolate and I end up making most desserts with dark chocolate.

Mahableshwar, a hill station close to Pune is very popular for this amazing fruit. The season has begun and the market is flooded with strawberries. We are enjoying strawberries almost every day. I will be bringing you a whole lot of strawberry recipes you can select and prepare for your sweetie …

Do you remember the Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting recipe I posted last year? 

This cake is perfect for Valentine’s Day. It has everything for your Valentine…chocolate, fresh strawberries & strawberries dipped in chocolate. What more can one ask for? The cake is soft & just melts in the mouth. This cake will brighten up any special occasion party and is a beautiful dessert to serve. My family enjoyed this one. I am sure your darling will love it! J
Ingredients for the Chocolate Cake :
2 cups Maida (Refined Flour)
2 cups Sugar
¾ cups Cocoa pwd.
1 ½ tsps. Baking pwd.
2 tsps. Baking Soda (Soda bicarb)
2 Eggs
¼ tsp. Salt
1 cup Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla Essence
½ cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Boiling Water or hot coffee
Procedure :
Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
Line two 23 cm. round cake tins/pans or one 23 x 33 cm. rectangular baking tin with parchment paper.
Grease the paper & the sides of the tins well.
In a sufficiently large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.
Add the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla essence & beat with an electric mixer/blender for about 2 mins.
Add the boiling water or coffee & mix until well combined.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake tins & bake for 30-40 mins. or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
 Cool the cakes completely before icing them.
Ingredients for the Filling & Icing :
1 cup fresh Strawberries (hulled, without leaves & sliced)
Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting/Icing (click here)
 11/3 cups Simple Sugar Syrup
To prepare a Simple Sugar Syrup :
Combine 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 cup of water in a small saucepan & stir to dissolve completely. Bring to a boil over med. heat, stirring constantly. Stop stirring & boil for a minute. Cool completely. Use this syrup to moisten your cake. The syrup can be stored in a covered container & refrigerated for up to 2 months. Use whenever needed.
To assemble the Chocolate & Fresh Strawberry Cake :
Split the cooled chocolate cake into two horizontal halves & place on two plates.
Brush just enough simple sugar syrup on both the halves to moisten evenly & completely. Do not soak the cake or it will crumble.
Spread enough vanilla butter cream frosting on one half of the moistened cake evenly & uniformly.
Arrange the freshly sliced strawberries on the cake.
Spread the butter cream on the other half of the cake & gently lift & place carefully on the strawberry layered cake slice.
Cover the sides & top of the cake with the icing.
 Make sure you cover the cake completely. 
Pipe designs on the borders of the cake.
Garnish & decorate with fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate.
You may use white as well as dark chocolate if you so wish.
Place the cake in the fridge to chill & set before serving.
Enjoy this beautiful cake with your valentine on Valentine’s Day.

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