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Mini chocolate strawberry layer cake
Frosted in a blushing strawberry buttercream, this cutie of a cake is perfect for Valentine’s Day, birthdays and any special occasions!

Mini chocolate strawberry layer cake

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

1 box NOMU MiniMakes Chocolate Cake Batter Mix
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk or milk

Strawberry buttercream:
150g softened butter, cubed
1 cup freeze-dried strawberries (2 x 8g pkts from Woolworths)
200g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp milk, as needed

To decorate:
60g dark chocolate, finely chopped
40g cream
Whole strawberries, washed and hulled

Directions

Preheat your oven to 170°C and grease and line 2 x 15cm cake tins (see Tips).

Whisk the eggs until frothy, then mix in the oil and buttermilk. Add the cake mix and whisk to form a smooth batter.

Divide the cake batter between the prepared cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cakes are cool, prepare the buttercream.

Whip the butter for a few minutes with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Quickly blitz the freeze-dried strawberries to a fine powder using a small food processor or Nutribullet and immediately mix into your softened butter. Incorporate the sifted icing sugar in two batches, mixing well between additions, then add in the milk. Mix well to form a smooth buttercream.

Stack and frost the cooled chocolate cake layers with the buttercream and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes (cooling the cake helps to set the ganache as it drips down the sides).

To prepare the chocolate ganache drip, place the finely chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl and heat the cream to just below simmering. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, leave for 1-2 minutes, then whisk to form a glossy ganache. Place the ganache in the fridge until cool to the touch (you don’t want it to melt your buttercream!) and slightly thickened. You want it to be runny enough to form drips on your cake – not too thin that it’ll run right off, and not too thick that it doesn’t move down the sides (see Tips).

Pour the ganache on top of your cake in the centre. Using an offset spatula or the back of a large spoon, gradually ease the ganache towards the edges of the cake to form drips down the side. Place in the fridge to firm up, then decorate with strawberries.

 

Tips: If you don’t have two cake tins, bake the cake in one 15cm tin for slightly longer and slice in half once cooled. Or you can make a single-layer cake using a 20cm cake tin.

Freeze-dried strawberries go soft very quickly when it’s a humid day, so be sure to open them only when ready and use them quickly.

You can test the consistency of your ganache by dripping it down the side of a bowl or mug. When in doubt, thicker is better than too runny.

Ingredients

1 box NOMU MiniMakes Chocolate Cake Batter Mix
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk or milk

Strawberry buttercream:
150g softened butter, cubed
1 cup freeze-dried strawberries (2 x 8g pkts from Woolworths)
200g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp milk, as needed

To decorate:
60g dark chocolate, finely chopped
40g cream
Whole strawberries, washed and hulled

Directions

Preheat your oven to 170°C and grease and line 2 x 15cm cake tins (see Tips).

Whisk the eggs until frothy, then mix in the oil and buttermilk. Add the cake mix and whisk to form a smooth batter.

Divide the cake batter between the prepared cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cakes are cool, prepare the buttercream.

Whip the butter for a few minutes with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Quickly blitz the freeze-dried strawberries to a fine powder using a small food processor or Nutribullet and immediately mix into your softened butter. Incorporate the sifted icing sugar in two batches, mixing well between additions, then add in the milk. Mix well to form a smooth buttercream.

Stack and frost the cooled chocolate cake layers with the buttercream and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes (cooling the cake helps to set the ganache as it drips down the sides).

To prepare the chocolate ganache drip, place the finely chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl and heat the cream to just below simmering. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, leave for 1-2 minutes, then whisk to form a glossy ganache. Place the ganache in the fridge until cool to the touch (you don’t want it to melt your buttercream!) and slightly thickened. You want it to be runny enough to form drips on your cake – not too thin that it’ll run right off, and not too thick that it doesn’t move down the sides (see Tips).

Pour the ganache on top of your cake in the centre. Using an offset spatula or the back of a large spoon, gradually ease the ganache towards the edges of the cake to form drips down the side. Place in the fridge to firm up, then decorate with strawberries.

 

Tips: If you don’t have two cake tins, bake the cake in one 15cm tin for slightly longer and slice in half once cooled. Or you can make a single-layer cake using a 20cm cake tin.

Freeze-dried strawberries go soft very quickly when it’s a humid day, so be sure to open them only when ready and use them quickly.

You can test the consistency of your ganache by dripping it down the side of a bowl or mug. When in doubt, thicker is better than too runny.

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