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Spread love with chocolate cake by Cate Casparius '19

Valentine’s Day is a holiday to shower your loved ones with chocolates, roses, jewelry and more gifts. According to ABC news and CNN statistics, jewelry is the most popular Valentine's Day gift and the estimated total spending in 2018 was $4.7 billion. Skip breaking the bank and spoil someone you love with these cute homemade chocolate covered strawberry drip cakes.

For the chocolate cake you will need: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 3 cups granulated sugar, 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 4 large eggs, 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups warm water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

For the chocolate ganache you will need: 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, ½ cup of heavy cream and whole strawberries for topping.

For the strawberry whipped buttercream frosting: 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, 7 tablespoons (53 g) all-purpose flour, 1 ½ cups (297 g) granulated sugar, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

First, preheat the oven at 350 degrees F, then mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a stand mixer.

Next, add the eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil and vanilla. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. Next, spray a large cookie sheet pan and place a sheet of parchment paper on the pan. After paper is placed, spray lined pan again and pour batter into pan and place in oven to bake for 20 minutes.

While the cake is baking, prepare the strawberry frosting.

Place the milk and flour into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until a thick mixture has formed. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

While cooling, cream the butter in an electric mixer. Then add the sugar, salt and vanilla and beat for another 3 minutes on medium speed.

Once combined, add the milk mixture and mix on high for five minutes (the frosting should be fluffy like whipped cream). Then, gently fold in chopped strawberries by hand.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely. While cooling, create ½ of your ganache (you will need the second half to be fresh later on). Place the chocolate into a bowl. Heat up the heavy cream in the microwave on high for 40 seconds.

Remove from microwave and pour over chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Let cool in fridge.

Once cool, assemble the cakes. Using a circular cookie cutter, cut as many 5 inch diameter circles as possible throughout the sheet pan.

Obtain two of the cake cutouts and start to assemble your first cake. Take one circular cutout and top with a thin layer of refrigerated ganache. Next, top with a hefty layer of buttercream then place the other cutout on top.

Transfer to freezer to set for five minutes. Repeat with rest of cakes.

Once set, completely cover the constructed mini cake in a thick layer of buttercream then freeze to set for five more minutes.

While freezing, create the other half of your ganache. Repeat exact steps above but then pour ½ of this ganache into a bottle with a circular piping tip and do not refrigerate.

Remove cake from freezer, take the filled ganache bottle and delicately drip it over the sides of the cake.

Next, fill in the top of the cake with ganache. Finally, dip one whole strawberry in ganache.

Place it in the center of the cake.

Slice into the center of the cake and enjoy.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Credits:

Photos by Cate Casparius 

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