The husbuddy (Paul) has been encouraging me for quite some time to do some food blogging. Paul insists that people would be interested in what I'm cooking up. The idea seems silly to me because I don't create recipes. I find recipes and I recreate. Sometimes I recreate to a T and sometimes I add my own flair. I love to cook and I find it to be a creative outlet for me, but the thought of creating recipes and then testing them stresses me out. When I posted this picture on my Facebook, I received a lot of great feedback including requests for the recipe. In this case, I had added some flair, so I couldn't just simply send along a link to a recipe that I had followed.
In a one-week span this has been both a birthday cake and then served again at Easter, very versatile. The original recipe calls for a chocolate whipped cream in the center and a chocolate ganache on top. And believe you me, the original recipe looks absolutely divine and one day I will follow that recipe to a T. But spring is in the air and for some reason to me that screams berries and whipped cream, and that is how I came to modify the original recipe.
A quick word about the whipped topping. This is not whipped cream, and it isn't whipped coconut. It is whipped honey! Paul and I were introduced to whipped honey about a year ago. We were enjoying a delicious dinner at a friend's house when our friend started whipping up a berry cobbler. We saw him start topping the cobbler with the whipped topping and Paul quickly spoke up. Paul hates whipped cream! I have tried every which way to get him to like it. I assumed when we started dating that he meant he didn't like cool whip or whipped cream out of a can. A few years later I can attest that Paul does not like whipped cream. I guess we all have faults.
Our friend turned to Paul that evening and asked, "How do you feel about whipped honey?" Paul was taken aback. What is whipped honey? This coming from the guy who I will find in the kitchen tipping back the jar of honey just because. So we tentatively took a spoonful of the topping and that was the end of it. I now had a whipped topping that Paul not only likes, but loves. It was an exciting moment for both of us.
Okay, enough about all of that. Let's get onto the cake.
The cake recipe can be found here: http://zenbellyblog.com/2013/02/13/no-joke-dark-chocolate-cake/
I followed the cake recipe to a T. I didn't have 6-inch cake pans so I used my standard 9-inch and shortened the cooking time to 20 minutes. Be prepared for your house to smell heavenly when you pull this out of the oven. I couldn't wait for Paul to get home just to enjoy the scent. Since going Paleo in June of 2012, chocolate cake has not been a part of our life.
The cake filling consisted of cooked down strawberries and the honey topping. To make the fruit filling I chopped up a pound of strawberries (reserving 3-4 strawberries for the top) and put them in a small saucepan over medium heat. After about 10 minutes on the stove they were breaking down. To thicken the sauce up I put in two teaspoons of arrowroot flour. Allow time for cooling.
Now, for the whipped honey. For one cake I used clover honey which was exceptionally sweet. For Easter I used blackberry honey which was divine. Experiment with different types of honey.
It is unclear where the Whipped Honey recipe originates. When my friend first told me about it, after doing some research online, it appeared that it may have come from an issue of the American Bee Journal. However I was able to find it on another website: http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/85660/fluffy-honey-frosting
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Vanilla
- 2 Egg Whites
- 1 Cup Honey
In a small saucepan heat honey to boiling. In a bowl combine egg whites, salt, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until egg whites are stiff but not dry. Slowly pour in hot honey; beat for 5-7 minutes until frosting holds shape. Frosts two 8 or 9 inch layer cakes.
The directions are not kidding when they say slowly pour the hot honey. If you pour it too quickly, the egg whites will be chunky. I followed this recipe a handful of times using my hand blender and the results were good but not perfect and my arms grew tired from all of that mixing. Then around Christmas time I realized 1) I own a Kitchen Aid mixer and 2) How could I have forgotten I own a Kitchen Aid mixer?? Now my arm never gets tired making the honey topping and I can control the texture. If I am frosting a cake I only mix for about 7 minutes at medium speed. If I want a texture like thick whipped cream I will do closer to 10-12 minutes.
To Assemble the cake, put one layer on a plate. Spread the strawberry mixture over the cake. On the second layer, decide which side will be your top and bottom. On the bottom, spread a layer of whipped honey. On my first attempt making this cake, I put a lot of whipped honey in between and it overpowered the cake. The topping is sweet. A thin layer is perfect. Place the top layer over the bottom. Put a layer of whipped honey on top. For a nice touch, slice the reserved strawberries in half and place around the top of the cake.
Enjoy! Happy Easter from P+C!
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