Friday, February 20, 2015

chocolate strawberry jam cake

I've always maintained that I'm not much of a dessert person.  I would pretty much always prefer an additional portion of supper, rather than something sweet afterward.  But Valentine's Day is a day that demands chocolate.  And berries.  And something sweet after dinner.  Vicki and I made these precious chocolate shortbread hearts, drizzled with royal icing and dusted with red sugar.

But those were for her classmates!  So we needed something else for our Valentine's supper on Saturday.  I remembered a cake recipe I once made for my friend Mackenzie's birthday.  It was a layer cake, really lovely.  It called for a rich chocolate buttercream frosting, but I kind of despise frosting.  So I decided to just go with some homemade strawberry jam, both in between the layers and on top of the cake.  I swapped some ingredients from the original recipe to make it more real-food friendly, and also reduced the recipe so that it was only two layers tall rather than three, and voila!  A beautiful, rich, jammy cake that you can enjoy without too much guilt.  It is made with plain old all-purpose flour, so consider it an indulgence.

Chocolate Strawberry Jam Cake
(Adapted from this recipe.)

Sorry 'bout the photo!  A food photographer I am definitely not!
1 C + 3 T AP flour
1 1/3 C sucanat
1/2 C cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2/3 C buttermilk
1/3 C melted butter
1 1/2 t vanilla
2/3 C boiling water
1/2 - 2/3 C strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans.  Cut two circles of parchment paper and fit one into the bottom of each pan.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sucanat, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.

Whisk together the egg and egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla.  (I just do this in the measuring cup I used for the buttermilk to avoid dirtying another dish!)

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir together thoroughly, but don't over-mix.  Whisk in the boiling water.

Fill each cake pan with half of the batter.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of each cake.

When the cakes are done, pull them out of the oven and immediately press down on the top of each one with a clean dish cloth.  This will even out the surface and prevent you having to trim the cakes!

Pop the cakes into the freezer for fifteen minutes to cool.

When they come out of the freezer, release them from the cake pans.  Stack one cake on the bottom of a cake stand or plate.  Put half the strawberry jam on top of it.  Then stack the other cake upside-down on top of the first, so that the bottom of it is on top.  Spread the remaining strawberry jam over the top of the cake.


[This post submitted to Fat Tuesday 2/18/15, Real Food Wednesday 2/19/15, and the HomeAcre Hop 2/20/15.]

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