I’ve probably impressed you by now with my baking skills, if not please let me believe I have. Ignorance is bliss after all. But if I haven’t, I will impress you with this cake. So it’s not one of those gloriously decorated cakes that took hours to put together, but for me taste always comes first and this cake definitely has that. This cake was so good it should be banned, notice I said was, as in the past tense, because it did not last long!
What was the occasion, you ask. Who needs an occasion to eat cake? Can’t you just have cake because! Let there be cake I say! Let there be cake and let them eat cake! Trust me on this one, you will be so much happier after.
OK, I admit, don’t just eat any cake, if you’re going to have cake, you might as well have a good one, one that is worth all those calories. And this cake was worth it. That’s right, look at the name of it alone: Chocolate Cake with Mixed Berry and Cream Cheese Filling. Oh and I could have added topped with chocolate ganache and strawberries, but that would have made for a really long title. So where do I begin describing this cake to you. It’s out of this world! It’s a 5 layer cake with 2 layers of delicious mixed berry filling and 2 layers of cream cheese and whipped topping filling, topped with decadent chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries. If you’re mouth is not watering by now, I’m sorry I can’t help you.
You might think a 5 layer cake, well that’s got to be a lot of work! No way, especially when your husband cuts the layers. Yes that’s right, this is a perfect opportunity to make a cake with your husband, or wife and spend time together. Isn’t this a great idea for Valentine’s Day? Isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about, spending time with your significant other and enjoying each other’s company and eating cake? Damn right!
I’m not going to waste anymore time trying to convince you about the goodness and deliciousness of this cake, I’m going to show you how to make it. Easy peasy!
You will need 2 cake pans, each 8 inches in diameter. I think you can use 9 inch as well, shouldn’t make much of a difference. Cut out 2 parchment paper circles that will fit inside the cake pans. Place the parchment papers inside and using some melted butter, butter each pan well.
Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees. In the bowl of your mixer, add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using the paddle attachment mix everything until well combined on low speed. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix. With the mixer still on low speed, slowly add the coffee and continue mixing until everything is well combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula and mix as needed. Pour the batter into the 2 prepared pans, equally.
Bake the cake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until baked enough. Do the toothpick test, insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean, it’s done. Let the cake cool in the pans for about 30 minutes then turn them out onto a cooling rack or a cutting board and cool completely.
Now, while the cake is baking and cooling you have plenty of time to make the other 3 components of this cake. So let’s start with the mixed berry filling. This was super easy to make. I used a bag of frozen berries, which was 675 g or about 1 1/2 lbs. Add the mixed berries to a medium size sauce pan. To it add the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. The mixed berries that were in the bag I used, were raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. Cook this over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Make sure you continue to stir, otherwise it might stick to the bottom. It will take between 5 to 10 minutes for the mixture to thicken until it’s done.
The best thing about this filling was that the strawberries were whole and they remained whole during the cooking process, so the cake was that much more delicious as you’d take a bite and get a nice chunk of strawberry. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it now. Wish there were some cake left. Anyway, we can move on to the chocolate ganache. This is super easy to make as well. In a small sauce pan add the heavy cream, chocolate chips and instant coffee together and cook it over a double boiler over boiling water until smooth and warm. You will need to stirÂ occasionally, this won’t take long to make, under 5 minutes.
You’ll need to let this cool completely as well. You’ll notice that as it cools, the chocolate ganache will thicken quite a bit. You can always place it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process. To make the cream cheese and whipped cream topping, you’ll need heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract and cream cheese. Start by placing the heavy cream in the bowl of your mixer and mix until the cream has thickened and it forms soft peaks. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until the cream cheese is fully incorporated in the whipped cream. The cream cheese should be at room temperature so that it mixes easier. The mixture should be thick enough so that it’s spreadable.
We have come to my favorite part, my dear friends. The assembly of the cake. So we have two cakes but 5 layers, and you may wonder how that works. Well, as I said earlier I got my husband, strong man with steady hands, to cut the layers. So initially I wanted 4 layers, which meant cutting each cake in 2, but not my dear brave husband. He wanted to cut it in 3, because his mom used to cut it in 4 and make really thin cake layers. So he took the first cake, and cut out the cake top, you’ll need to do this so that each layer is nice and flat. Don’t worry that wasn’t wasted cake. We ate it! You will have filling left over, so it makes for a great snack. Nothing is wasted. So he cut the first cake in 3 layers, but he got bored with the second cake and decided to cut it only in 2 so this is how we ended up with a 5 layer cake. If you don’t get bored like my dear husband, please cut both cakes in 3 and you’ll have an even better 6 layer cake. So on a nice big plate add the first layer. Next add a layer of the fruit filling, another layer of cake, cream cheese filling, cake, fruit filling, cake, cream cheese filling and last layer of cake. So if you didn’t get that here it is again: cake, fruit filling, cake, cream cheese filling, cake, fruit filling, cake, cream cheese filling, cake. Don’t get hasty and add the ganache to it just yet. I placed the cake in the fridge for a couple hours, so that everything sets in nicely, and the cream cheese filling hardens a bit. The reason I did this, is because I wanted to cut out the uneven edges of the cake, to make it nice and even and clean looking. It was easier to cut and fix when it was cool. Once you have fixed it up, now of course you can totally skip that part, you can spread the ganache all over the cake. The ganache should really be like a thicker cream, which is really easy to spread.
The next step is totally optional. But as I’m not really creative and can’t think of any great ideas to decorate a cake, I chose strawberries, so I sliced up some strawberries and placed them around the top of the cake. That’s about as creative as I can get. But I still think it looks pretty.
It may not look perfect, but it is perfectly delicious! And after drooling long enough while taking pictures of the cake, we finally cut into it. Look at those layers, look how wonderfully yummy it looks.
You can see all the layers, look at that fruit filling. Come on, I know you want to try a piece. And this is my gift to you for Valentine’s Day.