A few weeks ago my housemate had her senior recital – a performance for friends and family to see all of the work she’s put into her music and performance for the past four years. What started as a joking conversation about what her cake should say became a reality when I piped up with a, “Yeah, I’ll do it!” And thus, the opportunity for me to bake my first ever cake was born.
Now I was given one suggestion (not a chocolate base) but otherwise had free reign to create this celebratory cake. And so, I set to work. I was entertaining a few possibilities and scoured the Internet for ideas either lemon cakes, strawberry cakes, or some other type of white cake.
There were some great looking cakes coming up in my search, I even came across a cookie dough cake – yes, that is apparently a real thing! Despite these recipes as well as two my mom was kind enough to send over, my brain (or taste buds, I suppose) was being very insistent that this cake needed to incorporate chocolate in some way or form in addition to being fruity.
Surprisingly, I could find no recipes that met my specified criteria and preset image for both chocolate and strawberry in a cake. At this point I was going to the store to get any ingredients I would need and a decision had to be made. And so it was that this cake became an original “Brooke creation”, with a little help and inspiration from a few other recipe sources.
Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake:
For the Cake:
– 1 cup butter, softened
– 2 cups granulated sugar
– 3 eggs
– 2 tsp vanilla
– 2 tbsp strawberry jam
– 3 1/4 cup flour
– 3 1/4 tsp baking powder
– 3/4 tsp salt
– 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
– 1 1/2 cups milk
– 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs individually beating after each one. Mix in vanilla and jam.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to mixture in small amounts, and beat together with lemon zest and milk. Add mini chocolate chips and mix by hand. Pour batter into two separate cake tins.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes
For the Fruit:
– Quarter to a third of a carton of strawberries (depending on size of the strawberries)
– 1 carton of blackberries
– 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1 tsp lemon juice
– 1 tsp lemon zest
Quarter the strawberries and add to a bowl with a carton of blackberries. Add sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the fruit and toss gently to coat.
For the Whipped cream filling (middle layer):
– 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 3 tbsp sugar
– 2-3 tbsp strawberry jam
– Chocolate Chips (a handful or two, depends on how chocolaty you want your middle filling to be – you could skip the chocolate as well and just do a strawberry or plain vanilla whipped cream for the middle)
On high setting, whip the heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and sugar together until thick and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
In a small saucepan, melt jam and chocolate chips (30 seconds or less on burner), stirring constantly. Cool immediately by placing sauce pan in larger pan full of cold water, continue to stir. When the mixture is cooler but still liquid, go ahead and fold gently into the whipped cream.
Now that the chocolate strawberry whipped cream is ready, go ahead and begin to assemble the cake.
For the Frosting:
– 1/2 cup butter
– 4 1/2 cup powdered sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
– remaining strawberries, chopped very finely
– 1 tsp lemon zest
– 5-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice*
In a bowl, use an electric mixer and beat the butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice in increments, mixing well each time. Stir in the vanilla, strawberries, and lemon zest.
*I had added this amount of milk from a basic buttercream frosting I was following and then decided it needed a bit of tartness. Adding a couple tablespoons of lemon juice ruined the consistency (I also didn’t mix the butter long enough in the beginning, I’ve since decided) and next so instead I would just add this amount of lemon juice and skip the milk.
At any rate, I attempted to salvage the consistency by whipping the remaining whipping cream (about 1 cup was left) and folding the whipped cream into the frosting.
Play around with this, you may have better form when it comes to getting the right consistency of frosting than me and so might just want to add that to the cake without the whipped cream. Or you may have it right and want to try it with the folded in whipped cream as well, which does make the frosting much lighter taking off some of the heaviness of the dense cake.
All in all, I was able to bring my cake creation to life, runny frosting and everything. Chocolate chips were used to decorate the top of the cake and write the previously joked about phrase which had been deemed not quite appropriate for everyone in the audience at the recital…(I’ll give you a clue: think “Oh yeah!” or “Ahhh yeah!”, but even more exclamatory . Got it? Good! If not, don’t worry about it.)
As celebrations commenced that evening after her recital, the cake was taken out of the fridge (oh right – refrigerate this cake when it is not being consumed!) and the aforementioned final touch was put on. It was perfect that it happened to be a friend attending’s birthday as well!
Then, accompanied by “ooo’s” and “ahhh’s”, it was devoured. I take pride in telling you that it was met with high approval and satisfaction; it even received a “this is seriously the best cake I’ve ever had” from our birthday guest!
Having put quite a few hours into making this cake, I was really satisfied with how it turned out. (A chunk of those hours was admittedly spent listening to “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”…all I can say is that I was in my element, creating something new, so I was in a giddy mood) From those of us that enjoyed the cake, it was agreed that the flavors all mixed together very well.
The berries offset the sweetness, the chocolate incorporated in the mini chocolate chips and the whipped cream in the middle was complementary and not overwhelming, the frosting had a clear strawberry flavor and was a lovely shade of pink (incidentally my housemate’s favorite color – I can be a bit clever sometimes).
Well, readers, that’s it for today. I think I’m safe in saying that my first foray into making a cake was a success. A splendid success. I will definitely be hanging on to my mix and match created recipe for a strawberry chocolate chip cake.
Now then. If you have some sort of celebration coming up, or need a cake that will satisfy your resident chocolate lovers and vanilla/fruit junkies, or maybe are just in the mood for a cake that is both filling but lighter in taste, give this strawberry chocolate chip cake a try. I promise that you will not be disappointed!
Thanks for reading, cheers! Until then…