Naked Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

Naked Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake
Strawberry Whipped Cream:
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1½ cups strawberries, pureed and strained

Cake:
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk

Chocolate Ganache:
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

1½ cups strawberries, sliced + additional for garnish

Instructions:
1. For whipped cream, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over cold water. Let
stand until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Heat in microwave 10-15
seconds; stir until dissolved and liquid; repeat if needed. In large bowl,
whip cream and confectioners' sugar to soft peaks. Add dissolved
gelatin and strawberry puree; whip until well combined. Refrigerate 2-3
hours, or until gelatin has set and cream is spreadable.

2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare pans with vegetable pan spray.
In large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking
soda and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer
until light and fluy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
Add vanilla; mix well. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk,
beating until just combined. Divide evenly into prepared pans.

3. Bake 18-21 minutes, rotating pans half way between baking. Cakes are
done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes
on cooling grid; remove from pans and cool completely.

4. For ganache, heat cream until steaming. Add chocolate and let sit until
softened. Stir until combined. Cool to room temperature.

5. To assemble, cut the crowns o of each cake layer. Place first layer on
cake board or serving plate. Spread a thin layer of ganache to edges of
cake. Cover with a thicker layer of strawberry whipped cream. Add a
single layer of sliced strawberries, pressing gently into whipped cream.
Repeat with remaining cake layers. Garnish top with additional whole
strawberries.

Makes about 8 servings.
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