Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Cake

1 cup butter, softened
1  3/4 cups sugar
1 t. vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups flour
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1  1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1  1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 2 (9 inch) cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour.  In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla with a mixer until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.  Spoon batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.  At this point, cake layers may be frozen for easier cutting.  To put cake together, split layers in half horizontally.  Place one layer, cut side down, on a serving plate.  Spread with a thin layer of Chocolate Frosting.  Spread one-fourth of Strawberry Sauce over frosting.  Repeat layers once.  Stack Chocolate Cheesecake layer, top side down, on cake.  Spread cheesecake with a thin layer of frosting and one-fourth of Strawberry Sauce.  Top with a third cake layer, cut side down.  Spread with a thin layer of frosting and remaining Strawberry Sauce; top with remaining cake layer.  Spread top and sides of cake with remaining Chocolate Frosting.  Garnish with strawberries.  Store cake, covered in refrigerator.

Chocolate Frosting

1 1/4 cups butter, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a large bowl, beat butter and cocoa with a mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar and beat until smooth.  Gradually add heavy cream, beating until smooth.

Strawberry Sauce

1 (12 oz.) package frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
1 T. lemon juice
3 T. strawberry preserves

In a saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in preserves until preserves melt.  Can strain through a sieve to discard solids.  I didn't do this and tasted fine.  Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.  The original recipe called for raspberries instead of strawberries.  Either can be used.

Chocolate Cheesecake

1/4 cup butter
6  (1 oz) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
2  (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1  (8 oz) container sour cream

Spray a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick spray with flour.  Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; spray paper with nonstick baking spray with flour.  In a saucepan, combine butter and chopped chocolate; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from heat; set aside to cool.  Preheat oven to 300.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, cocoa and vanilla with a mixer until creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in chocolate mixture and sour cream until combined.  Pour mixture into prepared pan.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Turn oven off, and let cheesecake stand in oven with door closed, for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.  Run a knife around edge of cheesecake to release sides.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before removing cheesecake from pan.  Cheesecake may be made ahead and frozen up to 2 month.  If the cheesecake is not level, simply use a knfe to trim it flat.  Use the same round cake pan as used for the cake layers so all layers will be the same width.