For Christmas, my awesome neighbors gave me some Chocolate Vodka. I have a few cocktail ideas for it, but I wanted to try and cook with it as well. I saw a picture of a beautiful cake, chocolate with a layer of whipped cream and strawberries in the middle. Since chocolate and strawberries are already complementary, I knew that soaking the strawberries in the vodka before putting them on the cake would be divine.
So that was step one, slice up a ton of strawberries and soak them in booze overnight. Since it isn't exactly growing season here (aside from the hibernation weight you should be diligently attending to), the berries I got were less than beautiful. However, that's totally ok for this, because the vodka will add flavor.
I found the recipe for the cake (and the amazing idea) from Karen in the Kitchen. She says that the cake recipe came from the back of the cocoa container. I always forget that bags and boxes have legit recipes on them; I'm going to need to check some of mine!! She did a whipped cream frosting, but I just did plain whipped cream. I thought the cake was sweet enough on it's own, and I didn't want anything to detract from the boozy berries.
2 Cups Sugar
1 3/4 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Milk (I used whole, since I had it, but whatever you have will work)
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Cup Boiling Water
First, pre-heat the oven to 350. This has the added benefit of warming your house up, which for me is super important right now.
Then, mix together your dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined.
Finally, add in the boiling water. The batter is SUPER thin, this is normal, do not freak out. It's a super moist cake, so it makes sense that it looks soupy when you make it.
Grease two 9 inch, round baking pans. I actually save my butter wrappers for this purpose; they have just enough butter left on them to grease up a pan or two. You can also just drag the butter around the pan or spray with some kind of cooking spray.
Divide the batter evenly between the pans (hardest step). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. To see if it's done, stick a fork or a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, you're good.
Allow to cool completely before frosting. I typically let cakes cool overnight before I try to frost them, but just make sure it's not warm AT ALL. If it is, the frosting will sadly melt everywhere.
Instead of frosting, I put plain whipped cream between the layers and on top. To make whipped cream, dump a container of whipping cream in a bowl and whip it, whip it good. If you're so inclined, you can add a bit of sugar or vanilla, but I don't like to. I don't like to compromise the integrity of the cream. It's done when it can kind of stand up on it's own. You'll know because it will look like whipped cream.
Slather that deliciousness on top of a cake, then top with LOTS of berries. Lather, rinse, repeat. Call your neighbors and tell them they have to come get it ASAP or else you're going to eat it.
Clearly, we hated it.
Please Note: The strawberries are not cooked at all, just soaked in the vodka. Therefore, they are full of booze. Keep this in mind before serving it to little ones or people who don't drink.
Question of the Day:
What other ideas do you have for the chocolate vodka?
What delicious things have you made with alcohol?