Chocolate Layer Cake With YES!Berries Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 tbsp soft butter for greasing pans
  • 1 1/4 cup (160 grams) sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (plus more for dusting baking pans)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (Substitute option: 3/4 cup whole milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice OR white vinegar)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp instant espresso or instant coffee
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup (250 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 2 large eggs room temperature

YES!Berries Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 1 package 12oz (340g) hulled YES!Berries Your Everyday Snack!® strawberries cut into about 1/2 cm slices (placed in between layers)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup (200 grams) white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup (340 grams) unsalted butter cut into 1-inch cubes

Garnishing

  • 1 package 12oz (340g) hulled YES!Berries Your Everyday Snack!® strawberries
  • Fresh jasmine strands and flowers (optional)

Instructions

Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the middle rack in the oven.
  2. Line the bottoms of three six-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside after buttering and dusting with cocoa powder.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing basin. Set aside some time
  4. In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract and put aside.
  5. Stir together the boiling water, espresso powder, and unsweetened chocolate with a wooden spoon until a smooth paste forms.
  6. Dump the brown sugar into a stand/hand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix in the chocolate paste mix on low speed until well combined.
  7. Slowly drizzle the oil into the chocolate mixture.
  8. One by one, crack the eggs into the mixture.
  9. Now add the flour in three additions and the buttermilk mixture in two additions, mixing for less than 15 seconds between each addition. Every now and then, scrape the sides of the basin with a spatula.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a tester stick comes out clean, after equally dividing the mixture amongst the three cake pans. At 23 minutes, begin checking.
  11. Allow 10 minutes for the pans to cool. Then remove the cakes from the pans, remove the parchment paper, and cool for 2 hours on a wire rack.
  12. To make icing easier, wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge for at least another couple of hours after they’ve completely cooled.

YES!Berries Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Remove the butter from the fridge and cut it into cubes, then set it aside. The butter should be soft on the exterior but slightly cold on the inside.
  2. 2 tablespoons water, hulled strawberries in a saucepan, bring to a gentle boil for about 4 minutes. Mash the strawberries using a potato masher.
  3. Strawberries are pushed through a sieve into a basin, the pulp is discarded, and the strawberry puree is placed aside to cool.
  4. Bring a medium sauce pan with about 1.5 inches of water to a simmer (make sure the bowl with your egg whites does not contact the water).
  5. Whisk the egg whites and 1 cup of sugar in an extremely clean dish (or stand mixer bowl) over hot water for 3-4 minutes, or until a candy thermometer reads 160°F. You may also massage a small amount of the mixture between your fingertips. When you don’t feel any grains in the egg, it’s done.
  6. Transfer bowl to stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat on low for 8-12 minutes, or until firm glossy peaks form. It should no longer be warm to the touch in the bowl.
  7. Whip in the strawberry puree juice in a slow, steady stream until fully combined.
  8. Switch to the paddle attachment and add half of the butter cubes, pulsing the mixture 6-7 times on high then off, high then off, etc. Repeat the pulsing process with the remaining butter.
  9. Then begin beating on low speed for 10 seconds at a time, gradually increasing to medium-high speed. 

*The meringue buttercream will seem curdled throughout the beating. Don’t worry, it’ll all fall into place in about 3 minutes or so.*

Icing the Cake

  1. Place your bottom layer on top and distribute 1/4 of the icing using an offset spatula.
  2. Gently lay down half the slices of YES!Berries Your Everyday Snack!® Strawberries
  3. Continue with the second and top layers, using the offset spatula to distribute the remaining icing around the cake.
  4. Serve with strawberries and flowers as a garnish (flowers are optional)

*If the buttercream still looks curdled after 3 minutes, use a hair dryer to blow warm air over it for about 5 seconds while stirring.
*Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream may be made ahead of time. Before re-whipping and using, make sure it’s at room temperature.
*Beating and whipping times will be longer if using a hand mixer to make the Swiss meringue buttercream.

Source: Del Fresco Pure

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