This cake is absolutely fabulous. I used Valentine's Day as an excuse to bake this delectable treat because we really don't like to keep a lot of sweets in our house. Don't get me wrong, I would love to bake every day, but my thighs would no longer fit into my jeans.
The dark chocolate cake layers were so moist and rich, and the white chocolate creme in between layered with strawberries gave it just the right amount of sweet. Also, for those that don't like traditional buttercream frosting, you will love the light, whipped cream frosting on this cake.
And by the way, this was my first attempt at making homemade whip cream. And let me tell you, it was sooooo easy, and soooooo good. If the homemade whip cream wasn't so fat filled I would never by the store bought again. But you know what, I don't eat it that often, so next time I have strawberry shortcake, I'm making it myself!
Dark and White Chocolate Layer Cake
For the dark chocolate cake:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
For the white chocolate whipped cream:
6 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
For the whipped cream frosting:
1 cup cold heavy cream
4 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Fresh strawberries, for filling and garnishing
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour the sides of two 9-inch round cake pans, and line the bottom of each with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the sugar, eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; mix at medium-low speed until smooth. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the boiling water (batter will be thin).
Pour batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake, remove the cakes from the pans, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When the cake has cooled, cut each in half horizontally to create four cake layers.
To make the white chocolate whipped cream, place the chopped white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Melt, stirring occasionally. When the chocolate is almost melted, bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil. Once the chocolate is fully melted, transfer the bowl to a counter, pour in the hot cream and let it sit for one minute. Then stir gently with a spatula until the chocolate is smooth. Let the chocolate sit until it reaches room temperature - the chocolate can’t be the least bit warm when it is added to the whipped cream.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining 1 cup cream only until it holds the softest peaks. With the mixer on high speed, add the white chocolate all at once and continue to beat just until the mixture holds firm peaks. Transfer the cream to a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap gently against the surface and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
To make the whipped cream frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat the cream, sugar and vanilla together just until the cream starts to thicken. Start on a slower speed and increase the speed as the cream gains texture. Continue to beat until the cream holds stiff peaks. Be very careful not to overbeat.
To assemble the cake, transfer one of the cake layers to a 10-inch cardboard circle, cut surface up. Spread a thick layer of white chocolate whipped cream on top of the cake. Layer with fresh strawberry slices. Lay another cake layer on top of the cream and berries, and press down gently. Top as before with white chocolate whipped cream and berries. Repeat once more with another cake layer and topping. Place the final cake layer on top, cut side down, and press down gently. Frost the cake with whipped cream frosting and garnish with fresh berries as desired.