With Valentines Day right around the corner, guess who’s getting naked? Wait. What? No! You thought I was going to say me? Cake, silly.
Cake just got a whole new make under. If you haven’t noticed, naked cakes are definitely trending. Gone are the outer layers of fancy buttercream swirls and intricate fondant art. Cakes have been stripped down to their bare essentials revealing their inner flaws for all to see.
Yet, there is something uniquely simplistic and natural about a naked cake. Adding fresh fruit and fillings like preserves, compote, or whipped cream can complement and make a naked cake exquisitely beautiful.
Keeping it organic and as fresh as possible and pairing the cake with flavors and stylings that play off of one another is the key to making a classic naked cake work. Less really is more.
Want to make it even more interesting and exciting? Perhaps something to really make your skirt fly up. How about a mini naked cake?
TZ and I are huge dessert lovers, and aside from the fact that we are eating better and exercising more these days, it’s hard for us to completely give up dessert. We still have our cheat days.
That’s what’s so great about mini anything when it comes to food. With mini we have portion control. And I can use ingredients that are healthier for us. Plus, let’s not forget the fact that ANYTHING mini is just down right ADORABLE!
Which makes this the perfect dessert for Valentines Day. Picture a nice romantical evening for two, sharing this dessert and sipping champagne out of flutes. Sensually feeding one another chocolate covered strawberries. Hold up! Back up. Reality check. Most of you reading this probably have kids circling around you like vultures this very instant screaming “I’m hungry, I’m hungry!”
That was a nice thought though wasn’t it? In which case, for those of you with more to feed, can double the recipe to make a regular size two tiered cake for all your sweeties. You’re welcome.
- CAKE INGREDIENTS
- 1 cup White Whole Wheat Flour (I use King Arthur)
- 1 cup Organic Sugar
- 6 Tablespoons Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder ( I used Hershey's)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup warm whole milk (or milk of choice)
- ½ cup strong brewed hot coffee
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- 2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil (or oil substitute)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 oz (2 squares) chopped bittersweet chocolate (I use Ghirardelli)
- WHIPPED CREAM INGREDIENTS
- 1½ cup organic heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tablespoons organic white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries and raspberries for filling and garnish.
- 4 oz. melted bitter sweet or semi sweet chocolate for dipping strawberries and drizzling cake
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Wash and dry berries. Slice core and slice strawberries in half. (choose the amount you want)
- Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit the bottom on your cake pans
- Oil the sides of two 5x5 (or 4x4) cake pans.
- Place the parchment paper in the bottom of the pans and lightly oil the top of the paper.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Melt butter and coconut oil.
- Slightly warm your milk or pour the coffee in with the milk.
- Add the butter and coconut oil to the milk and coffee mixture.
- Whisk your egg in a small bowl. Slowly temper in the warm milk, coffee and oil mixture into the egg.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
- Pour the wet mixture into the well, and gently incorporate the ingredients until moist and smooth. (Over mixing will produce a dry cake.)
- Gently fold in chopped bittersweet chocolate.
- Gently pour batter into each cake pan until ⅔ full. Place small pans on cookie tray and place on middle rack in oven for 20-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Do not open the oven the first 10 minutes of baking.
- Cool cakes completely.
- While cakes are cooling. Place a metal bowl and whisk in the freezer for 15 minutes. (can use an electric mixer. Place the whisks in the freezer.)
- Remove bowl and place in stand mixer with whisk attachment.
- Pour in very cold heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla.
- Turn on low for a few seconds then turn to medium speed and mix until cream forms stiff peaks.
- Do not overmix, unless you want butter.
- Cover and return to fridge until ready to use.
- Melt chocolate according to package directions. Reserve some of the chocolate for drizzling. Dip desired amount of strawberries and place the strawberries in fridge to harden about 15 minutes.
- Assemble the cake.
- Gently remove cakes from pans and remove the parchment paper.
- Place the bottom cake layer on top of a dish and lightly drizzle with melted chocolate. (You can use a plastic bag for this and cut a small hole int the corner of the bag.)
- Place a nice size layer of whipped cream on top of the cake.
- Place desired amount of berries on whipped cream, slightly pushing them into the mixture.
- Top with another layer of whipped cream to cover berries.
- Push berries into sides of whipped cream and around bottom of dish for garnish.
- Gently center and place the top layer of cake on the whipped cream.
- Place dollops of whipped cream around edges of the top of the cake. (I used a 2 D tip and a piping bag filled with whipped cream. You can fill a ziploc bag with whipped cream and cut a small hole in the corner to the the same effect or even place your favorite piping tip in the ziploc bag.)
- Arrange chocolate covered strawberries and naked berries on top of cake.
- Lightly drizzle melted chocolate over entire top of cake and berries.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Even though the classic naked cake has been around for ages, think strawberry short cake, it’s making a huge comeback. And I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that my inspiration came from Amanda at I Am Baker. She posted a naked cake over at The Food Network blog that knocked my socks off. My eyes literally sparkled when I saw it on my news feed. You definitely should check her and her amazing creations out.
What are you waiting for? Go get naked & Happy Valentines Day.