Desserts

Chocolate Cake with Creamy Chocolate Icing and Strawberries

Foodie Smiley Pix

Thanks Joanne from What’s on the List for inviting me to this week’s Foodie Friends Friday Foods That Make us Smile Party!

Decadent and delicious – that’s what this cake is. Better yet, each component is easy to make! Some cakes are light and fluffy, but this one is rich and compact.

Dark chocolate, milk, eggs, sugar – this recipe has got it all, but it’s the almond paste that is the star of the show here. You might be able to find this product in a store, but it’s easy to make your own – just pop your almonds in a food processor, add the sugar, egg whites and almond flavouring and you’re done!

And of course, the ‘strawberry stars‘ decorating the cake give a nice crowning touch to your chocolate masterpiece, with instructions given below.

But first, a friendly word of advice. I had seen a picture of this cake on the internet, with fancy swirls of chocolate icing piped onto the cake. So, I got out my pastry bag and nozzle and then piped, squeezed and swirled to my heart’s content, but to no avail. The cake just did not look good and it was too ‘finicky.’

So I remembered the words of Henry David Thoreau in Walden, “Simplify, Simplify.” I took a knife and undid all the fancy swirls of chocolate icing –  I uncurled, unfurled and un-piped – I Simplified. I made this cake my own. And it looked a lot better!

You can either bake this cake in a 22 cm (9 inch) round cake pan or use several small molds. I used two small tart pans with a removable base for my cake.

To make the almond paste

Ingredients

2 cups blanched almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons almond extract (optional)

  •  Add the blanched almonds and sugar to a food processor and process until the mixture becomes like a fine powder.
  • Add the softened butter, egg whites and almond extract and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge until ready to use.

 Recipe for the Almond Paste is courtesy of ‘Simply so Good’ blog.

To make the ‘Strawberry Stars

In the middle of the strawberry, make a small cut on the diagonal, with the knife point piercing into the center of the fruit.

 Strawberry cut

Continue this zig-zag pattern all the way around the strawberry. When you have completed the pattern, separate the two halves of the strawberry.

Strawberry pull apart

This recipe is adapted from Le Cordon Bleu- Paris.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Chocolate Cake with Creamy Chocolate Icing and Strawberries
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • Creamy Chocolate Icing
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50 g sugar
  • 250 ml milk
  • 275 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • For the Cake Batter
  • 30 g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g almond paste
  • 15 g flour
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. chocolate icing (from above recipe)
  • 2 baking powder
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Prepare the icing.
  2. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until pale and thick.
  3. In a separate pan, bring the milk to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gradually stir the egg mixture into the milk, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Be careful not to boil the mixture or the eggs will 'scramble.'
  4. Now add the chopped chocolate bits and stir until the chocolate has thoroughly melted. Refrigerate for at least one hour until the icing thickens and sets.
  5. Prepare the Cake Batter
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter small molds or one large round cake pan.
  7. Melt the butter in a saucepan and set aside. Beat the eggs into the almond paste, one at a time. Continue whisking for 5 minutes; or until the mixture is pale and thick.
  8. Fold in the flour, cocoa, 2 tbsp. chocolate icing, salt and baking powder; then add the melted butter.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared molds (or one large cake pan) up to ⅔ full. Bake for 12 minutes or until a small knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean and dry. Turn out onto a rack and let cool.
  10. Place chocolate icing on the cake and decorate with the strawberry stars. Add whipped cream if desired.

 IMG_6819

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Anneli Faiers
    January 20, 2014 at 5:51 am

    That looks seriously decadent! I just love your strawberries…how pretty! That is a cake that would put rather a large smile on my face!
    Anneli Faiers recently posted…December Four Seasons Food Round Up – Party FoodMy Profile

  • Reply
    Joanne T Ferguson
    January 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    G’day! Looks terrific Fran…love the recipe and your mouth-watering photo too!
    Wish I could come through the screen and try a slice right now!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Joanne T Ferguson recently posted…Foodie Friends Friday #Recipes That Tell a StoryMy Profile

  • Reply
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    January 20, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Gosh your food looks good! Your strawberries are cute but your cake is over the moon terrific!
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted…You CAN Grow Corn in a Small PatchMy Profile

  • Reply
    dina
    January 21, 2014 at 3:25 am

    it looks delicious!
    dina recently posted…North Carolina State Farmers’ Market RestaurantMy Profile

  • Reply
    GourmetGetaways
    January 21, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Oh how beautiful and delicious looking! I haven’t made fruit stars since school, they look so effective with chocolate, YUM!!
    Thank you for sharing, now I wish I could physically share some too 😉
    GourmetGetaways recently posted…The Big Day Out 2014 – Gold CoastMy Profile

  • Reply
    Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice
    January 22, 2014 at 1:05 am

    I’ll take a slice for breakfast! 😉 The strawberry stars add such a nice touch to the cake. You can never go wrong with a good chocolate cake!

  • Reply
    Daniela
    January 22, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Chocolate & strawberries- a match made in culinary heaven!
    Your cake looks and sounds amazing Fran.
    Daniela recently posted…Back To Black- Tagiatelle Nero With Herbed ShrimpsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Juliana
    January 23, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Almond paste and chocolate? Sounds and Looks decadent…this is the kind of dessert that I could have everyday.
    Thanks for the recipe Fran, and hope you are having a fabulous week 😀
    Juliana recently posted…Poached Fish with Wheat BerryMy Profile

  • Reply
    Amira
    January 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I love anything chocolate and this is for sure no exception … looks so delicious.

  • Reply
    Adrian (Food Rehab)
    January 26, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    haha love how you get straight to the point – chocolate! In all its glory. One can never have enough choccie cake recipes and so I’m saving this one!
    Adrian (Food Rehab) recently posted…BBQ Lamb Adobo with Chilli, Mint and Kumquat Dressing + Homeboy’s 2013 ReflectionMy Profile

  • Reply
    [email protected] Riffs
    January 27, 2014 at 4:34 am

    I’m piping-challenged so by default I have to decorate things as basically as possible! This looks luscious — I’ll bet the flavor is wonderful. Thanks for this.
    [email protected] Riffs recently posted…Meat and Potatoes ChiliMy Profile

  • Reply
    Joy @ Yesterfood
    January 28, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Fran, you had me at dark chocolate! Your cake is beautiful, and I love how you simplified the presentation (and who inspired you to do it!). I’m so glad you are hosting Foodie Friends Friday now- it’s one of my favorite parties.

    I am following you on Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook (I Liked your FB page from my personal page so that it would “count” for you). I tried to follow you on Twitter, but the link seemed to be broken.

    I hope you have a wonderful week!
    Joy @ Yesterfood recently posted…Early American Cottage LoafMy Profile

  • Reply
    Nami | Just One Cookbook
    January 29, 2014 at 3:07 am

    Gorgeous chocolate cake, and I love your strawberry stars! Simple decoration like that makes the cake or any dish to next level!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted…Daikon and Cucumber Salad with Shio Koji 大根ときゅうりの塩麹和えMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Dorm Room Baker
    March 29, 2014 at 2:11 am

    What a cool idea adding almond paste to a chocolate cake. I’ve never worked with almond paste before, but it sounds delicious. The strawberry stars are an awesome touch!
    Rebecca @ Dorm Room Baker recently posted…Skinny Chocolate Mug CakeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Fran
      March 29, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Thanks Rebecca – yeah, almond paste gives the cake a nice, rich texture- not fluffy, but rich nonetheless!
      Fran recently posted…Boned Duck Baked in PastryMy Profile

  • Reply
    Joanne T Ferguson
    March 29, 2014 at 11:11 am

    G’day and thanks Fran! Still looks like a great cake to me!
    Thanks for sharing it at the Foodie Friends Friday #Foods That Make You Smile Party!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Joanne T Ferguson recently posted…Foodie Friends Friday #Foods That Make You Smile PartyMy Profile

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