This cake was for a friend's office party. His co worker was getting married so this could be considered a groom's cake. We decided on a 1/2 vanilla, 1/2 chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream and strawberries. Getting the cake to be 1/2 vanilla 1/2 chocolate ended up being the unexpected challenge but thanks to the very informative forums on cakecentral.com it worked out well in the end.
The recipes I used for the cake were the yellow WASC cake which I have posted before and the Hershey's perfectly chocolate cake also posted in prior posts. The buttercream was the cooked chocolate frosting I posted recently. It's a real silky buttercream and a non-crusting kind which means I could not smooth it like I usually do. However I think I made up with the chocolate covered strawberries on top.
The strawberries are very easy to do if you have the right ingredients and method.
Some kind of chocolate (Chips, buttons, wafers etc)
Crisco or some kind of fat (maybe vegetable oil will work)
Prepare the strawberries:
Wash the strawberries and dry them thoroughly (I mean thoroughly else your chocolate will seize).
I used a hair dryer on cool temp to dry them off, thats after I wiped each one carefully with a paper towel.
Prepare the chocolate:
You can buy the Dolci Frutta containers at any grocery store. They usually display them right next to the berries or in the baking aisle. They're chocolate wafers in a microwaveable paper container. Or you can buy the candy melts in various colors from Michaels or any craft store or even Party City. I used Dolci for the dark and light cocoa candy melts for the light ones on the cake.
You can even use chocolate chips but they melt quite thick. For all kinds of chocolate melt them at 30-40% power at 30 second bursts, stirring to disperse the heat until they are melted smooth. Make sure the chocolate does not get too hot or it will scorch/burn/seize. Also no moisture of any kind must get into it or it will seize so make sure everything you use is dry. If the chocolate is thick and not pourable, add about 1/2 tsp crisco and stir it well (carefully so as to not get air bubbles in).
Once the chocolate is smooth, somewhat pourable, you're ready to dip.
Hold the fruit by the leaves, dip into the chocolate, roll it around to get a good coat. Shake or tap it to drop the excess and place on a wax paper to dry.
It should firm up in about 10 mins or place in the refrigerator for 2-3 mins.
For the white drizzle, melt white chips or wafers, add crisco to thin, put in a ziploc bag, snip a tiny part of the corner off. Test the drizzle on wax paper and then drizzle across the strawberries.
That's it! Its very easy to do once you get the hang of working with chocolate and have them on hand.
One more note: The strawberries are best eaten immediately or within a few hours of making them. After 8-9 hours, I have noticed they begin to let out some moisture and they don't look as good.