Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake
The darkest dark chocolate cake perfectly paired with a sweet and fruity strawberry meringue buttercream made with fresh strawberries!
Yield: 1 8-inch layer cake
For the cake
  • 1½ cups black chocolate stout (Brooklyn Brewery makes a good one!)
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1½ cups dark Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2¾ cups sugar
  • ¾ tbsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
For the strawberry frosting
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped, divided
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
To garnish
  • 12 whole strawberries, rinsed and dried
  1. To make the cake, heat oven to 350F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with baking spray. Line with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
  2. Bring the stout and butter to a simmer in a large heavy pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder. Whisk until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sour cream and eggs.
  5. Add the stout mixture to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Using a spatula, combine the flour mixture with the stout-egg mixture until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth, scraping down the bottom of the bowl as necessary to incorporate all the dry bits.
  6. Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans. Bake for 30-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the frosting
  1. To make the frosting, place half of the chopped strawberries in the bowl of a food processor or blender and puree until completely smooth. Set aside.
  2. Combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and set it over a pot of simmering water (ie make a double boiler with it) so that the bottom of the mixer bowl doesn't doesn't touch the water, just hovers over it. Heat, whisking frequently, until the egg mixture reaches 160F. Transfer the mixer bowl back to the stand mixer and beat with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture is room temperature, about 8 minutes.
  3. Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, two tablespoons at a time, only adding the next pieces of butter when the prior pieces have been fully incorporated. If the frosting looks thin, soupy, or curdled, turn mixer speed back up to medium high and beat for 3-5 minutes more (or longer). Blend in the strawberry puree and mix until completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and fold in the remaining strawberry pieces.
To assemble
  1. Place one of the cake layers on a cake board or serving platter. Spread a third of the strawberry frosting on top of it in an even layer. Top with a second cake layer and then another third of the strawberry frosting. Repeat once more with the remaining cake layer and smooth the sides as desired to give it a "naked cake" look. Place the strawberries around the edges of the cake to garnish, as desired.
Adapted from this recipe and Annie's Eats
Recipe by Joanne Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/2018/03/dark-chocolate-covered-strawberry-layer-cake.html