Double Chocolate Layer Cake Filled with Strawberries

Our oldest grandchild turned "sweet sixteen" last week and ordered up (as is our families tradition) a "birthday diner". Desert is to be a chocolate layer cake with strawberries between the layers and frosted with chocolate icing. Due to ball games and tournaments, work schedules, and a garage sale we have had a hard time scheduling this year.

I have gone ahead and baked the cake, wrapped the layers, and frozen them to be in the ready when we set the date. This is not the first time I have done this and find advantages to it. It is easier to split the layers when they are frozen. It is easier to frost the layers when they are frozen, It seems the frosting adheres to the cold cake better to me. If you are going to transport the finished cake a long way on a hot day, as I have previously done, it works great to freeze again after frosting so you are leaving home with a frozen cake. I did two cakes this way a few summers ago and took them on a 4 hour road trip. They were perfect when we got there and delicious as well.

I have adapted this cake from a recipe found on the epicurious web site. It will serve 12-14. 

Ingredients, cake:

3 oz. Semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 C. hot brewed coffee
3 C. sugar
2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 t. soda
3/4 t. baking powder
1 1/4 t. salt
3 lg. eggs
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 1/2 C. well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 t. vanilla

2, 10" x 2" round cake pans

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and line the pans with parchment paper, then grease again and dust with flour. Set aside.

Finely chop the chocolate and combine with the hot coffee. Let the mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. 

In a large electric mixer bowl beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3-5 minutes). Slowly add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to the eggs. Combine well. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat at medium speed until just combined. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake in the middle of the oven until a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.

Cool the layers completely on racks. Run a thin knife around the edges of the pans and invert onto racks. Carefully remove the parchment. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept or frozen wrapped well in plastic wrap.

I have split the layers and added sliced fresh strawberries with glaze and frosted with chocolate butter cream.  Were that not enough I drizzled edges with glaze.  It needs to be refrigerated until serving time,  This makes a really big cake and will easily serve 16-18 people.

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