Chocolate Cake with Strawberries and Cream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
For the cake:
  • 60g (or 2 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 240ml (or 1 cup) boiling water
  • 280g (or 2¼ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 140g (or 1 cup + 3 tablespoons) cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 120ml (or ½ cup) sunflower oil
  • 240ml (or 1 cup) milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 480g (or 2⅓ cups + 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
For the syrup:
  • 60ml (or ¼ cup) water
  • 50g (or ¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry eau de vie or raspberry liqueur
For the whipped cream filling:
  • 500ml (or 2 cups + 4 teaspoons) whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar (or more or less to taste)
  • 1000g (or about 2 pounds) fresh strawberries, washed, dried and hulled
  • chocolate curls to make it pretty
Start with the cake:
  1. Start by preheating the oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting). Liberally butter a 25-cm (10-inch) cake pan with butter and dust it with cocoa.
  2. Pour the water over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and stir to dissolve. Set aside. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until foamy. Keep mixing and slowly drizzle in the oil. Once the oil is fully incorporated, add the milk and vanilla to the chocolate-water mixture. Pour the now cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Add the sugar and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. NOTE: to check whether the sugar has dissolved, rub the batter between your fingers. If you can't feel any sugar grains, the sugar has properly dissolved.
  5. Stop the mixer. Add the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once the flour mixture has been absorbed, give the batter a quick whiz with the mixer to get rid of any lumps.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 70 minutes. You may need to place a sheet of aluminum foil over the cake after 45 minutes if it's browning too fast.
  7. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and leave to cool for twenty minutes in the pan before turning the cake out. Let the cake cool to room temperature, wrap it with plastic wrap and leave to chill in the fridge for two hours or overnight.
In the meantime, make the syrup:
  1. Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has completely dissolved and the syrup is clear, take the pan off the heat and pour the syrup in a mug to cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled to room temperature, measure out 60mls of syrup and stir in the eau de vie or liqueur, discard the rest of the syrup. Keep in the fridge until use.
  1. Whip up the cream with the sugar until it holds soft peaks. Use a serrated knife to level the top of the cake. Next, split the cake into two even layers. Quarter two thirds of the strawberries. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the bottom layer with the syrup. Place half of the quartered strawberries cut-side down on top of the bottom cake layer. Plop on half the whipped cream and smooth it evenly over the strawberries with a rubber spatula.
  2. Place the second cake layer on top, press it down lightly, brush with syrup, place the other quartered strawberries on top and smother these in the remaining cream.
  3. Heap the remaining, whole strawberries on top and sprinkle with the chocolate curls. Serve within six hours.
Recipe by The Tough Cookie at