Chocolate Layer Cake with Jam Filling and Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Chocolate Layer Cake
- 420g all-purpose flour
- 615g sugar
- 112g cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 ¼ tsp baking soda
- 2 ¼ tsp salt
- 2 ¼ tsp espresso powder
- 345g whole milk, room temperature
- 157g vegetable or neutral oil
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 345g boiling water
Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 190g egg whites
- 300g sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
- 700g unsalted butter, cool, cut into cubes
- 60g freeze-dried strawberries, ground and sifted, or freeze-dried strawberry powder
- 240g jam (I used mixed berry, Amanda uses Strawberry in her book - whatever you have on hand is great!)
CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE
- Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Prepare three 8 inch round, 3 inch deep pans with butter and cocoa powder, or baking spray and parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine all of the dry ingredients.
- Add in the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine, first at a low speed, and then increase to medium for 30 seconds.
- Add in the boiling water, cover the mixer with a tea towel to prevent splashing, then mix on medium high for 30 more seconds.
- Divide the batter between the three prepared pans, about 675g per pan. Bake until the cake springs back when gently poked and the cakes are starting to pull away from the sides, about 35 minutes.
- Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes before turning out. Cool completely before leveling and frosting. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the freezer until ready.
STRAWBERRY SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
- Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved.
- Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing!
- Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add the strawberry powder and switch to the paddle attachment. Mix in medium until incorporated, and then mix on low for one minute to remove any air. Use immediately - store any leftovers in the fridge.
- Level off the cake layers. Transfer some of the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a wilton 1M tip - this will be used to make a buttercream dam to hold in the jam between layers and to pipe the top design of the cake.
- Secure one of the layers of cake to a cake turntable using a little buttercream. Add about a cup of buttercream onto the first layer of cake, and smooth using an offset spatula. Create a buttercream dam using the buttercream in the piping bag by piping a ring of frosting around the outside edge of the first layer. Fill in the ring with approximately 6 Tbsp Jam.
- Place the second layer of cake onto the first, pressing very lightly to secure, and sealing the joins with a thin layer of buttercream. Repeat the layering process - add a cup of buttercream, make a dam, fill with 6 Tbsp Jam, then top with the third layer of cake - I like to put this one upside down to ensure that the top of the cake is flat. Return the rest of the buttercream in the piping bag to the bowl with the buttercream.
- Crumb coat the cake - to do this, apply a thin layer of buttercream over the surface of the cake, and smooth with a bench scraper or icing smoother. Refrigerate the cake for 20-30 minutes, until the crumb coat has set.
- Cover the side and top of the cake with a smooth layer of buttercream. Using an offset spatula, create a pattern on the side of the cake by holding the spatula against the cake and rotating the turntable, slowly moving the spatula up the side of the cake. Smooth off the top edge.
- Using the remaining buttercream in the piping bag, pipe a ‘shell’ design on top of the cake - this video explains it better than I can!
- Chill the cake until ready to serve. Remove from the fridge about an hour before serving to bring to room temperature.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge
Recipe Reprinted with Permission from Cake Portfolio