A Special Chocolate Cake With Strawberries

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“I would like a chocolate and strawberry cake for my birthday! Mummy!”. That was his wish and his genie of a Mum granted it!

I absolutely adore making birthday cakes for my loved ones. I must say though that I do like the rustic style, which is fine by my 3 year old son! Where the time has flown? I can just close my eyes and recall the first time he was given to me in my arms!

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All I know that whichever cake he desires me to make the genie in me will come alive! I’m sure it’s going to be chocolate and strawberry for a while yet! I hope you enjoy it, as much as he did!

INGREDIENTS

50g cocoa powder
10 tbsp boiling water
3 free-range eggs
4 tbsp milk
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g baking spread or soft butter
250g natural granulated sugar

For the icing
150g milk chocolate, broken into small pieces
100ml double cream for chocolate ganache
½ tsp butter

For the filling
180ml double cream
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp strawberry jam without bits
6 strawberries sliced in half

METHOD

• Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f and grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins with baking parchment

• Put the cocoa powder and boiling water into a large bowl and mix well to make a paste

• Add the remaining ingredients and beat again until combined. This can also be done in a food processor, but take care not to over whisk

• Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until well risen and shrinking away from the sides of the tin

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For the ganache
• Meanwhile, for the icing and filling, measure the chocolate, cream and butter together in a bowl and stand the bowl over a pan of simmering water for about 10 minutes, or until melted. Stir from time to time. Set aside

• Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and leave in the tim to cool completely

For the filling
• Whisk the double cream and sugar together until you get a stiff whipped consistency

• Spread the jam on the inside of one of the sponges, and the whipped cream on the other, sandwich them together

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• Pour the gananche over the cake and then firmly place the strawberries between the sponges

• Leave to set in the fridge for 15-25 minutes and then enjoy!

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(This cake has been adapted from Mary Berry’s recipe for chocolate sponge cake)