- 680 g strawberries (frozen)
- immersion blender (optional)
It is recommended to make the strawberry reduction two days before frosting. (The reduction is used for strawberry cake and strawberry buttercream.) For the strawberry reduction, place fresh or thawed, frozen strawberries into a medium saucepan. Optional: roughly blend strawberries with an emersion blender beforehand, if you prefer a smoother texture of strawberry reduction.
- ¾ tsp lemon zest
- ¾ tbsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- 85 g sugar
Heat on medium-high and add in sugar (if desired), lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Once bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low and slowly reduce until berries begin to break up, and the mixture has reduced by half. This will take about 20 minutes. Occasionally stir the mixture to prevent burning. If your mixture has reduced by half and is still watery, continue to cook until all of the liquid is out.
- airtight container (large)
You should end up with about 1.5 cups of thick strawberry reduction that has a consistency similar to tomato sauce. Transfer to another container and let cool before use. You will use some of the reduction for the cake batter, some for the frosting and the rest for filling between the cake layers for extra moisture. Leftover reduction can be stored in the fridge for up to one week or frozen for 6 months.
On the next day, in preparation for the strawberry cake, take your strawberry reduction out of the refrigerator 1 hour before making the cake, so that it comes to room temperature. Take out the butter, milk and egg whites so that they come to room temperature.
- 2 cake rings (8 in.)
- parchment paper
Meanwhile for the white chocolate mud cakes, preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) standard / 160°C (320°F) fan-forced. Grease and line two 8-inch round cake tins with baking or parchment paper.
- 180 g white chocolate
- 350 g unsalted butter (diced)
- 590 g caster sugar
- 375 ml milk
Combine white chocolate, butter, sugar and milk in a large saucepan; stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until smooth. Pour mixture into a large bowl; cool for 15 minutes.
- 300 g flour
- 100 g self-raising flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp purple gel food coloring (optional)
- 3 bowls
- 2 plastic wrap
Sift flours together into a separate bowl. Whisk sifted flours, extract, eggs and purple food coloring into the white chocolate mixture. (The purple food coloring will help to offset the yellow color in the batter.)
- ½ tsp pink gel food coloring
Divide the cake batter evenly between two bowls. Tint one bowl with pink food coloring and mix until colored.
Pour batter from the two bowls into each of the two cake tins, and bake in the oven for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Place pans on top of a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Then flip your cakes onto the racks and cool completely. Once cooled, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate, for assembly on the next day.
- 2 cake rings (8 in.)
- parchment paper
Meanwhile, for the strawberry cake, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350ºF/180ºC. Grease and line two 8" (20cm) cake pans.
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 170 g whole milk (room temperature)
- 113 g strawberry reduction (room temperature)
- 1½ tsp strawberry emulsion
- ½ tsp lemon extract
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp pink food coloring
In a separate jug or medium bowl, whisk together the milk, strawberry reduction, strawberry emulsion, vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pink food coloring.
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 397 g all-purpose flour
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- 226 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 284 g caster sugar
Add room temperature butter to your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until smooth and shiny, about 30 seconds.
Gradually sprinkle in the sugar, beat until mixture is fluffy and almost white, about 3-5 minutes.
- 170 g egg whites (room temperature)
Add the room temperature egg whites one at a time, beating 15 seconds in between. Your mixture should look cohesive at this point. If it looks curdled and broken, your butter or egg whites were too cold.
Mix on low speed and add about a third of the flour mixture to the batter, followed immediately by about a third of the milk mixture, and mix until ingredients are almost incorporated into the batter.
Repeat the process 2 more times with the remaining flour mixture and milk mixture. When the batter appears blended, stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. If it looks like ice cream, you did it right!
Divide the batter evenly between two bowls. Tint one with red food coloring and mix until colored.
Pour batter from each bowl into each of the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake cakes at 350ºF/180ºC until they feel firm in the center and a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs on it, about 30-35 minutes.
Place pans on top of a wire rack; let cool for 10 minutes. Then flip your cakes onto racks and cool completely. Once cooled, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate before assembling your cake the next day.
You can leave the cakes to chill for a day before assembling and frosting. To make the white chocolate buttercream, melt white chocolate. Make sure it’s completely smooth! (I used a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, but you can melt it in the microwave too.)
- 113 g pasteurised egg whites (room temperature)
- 454 g confectioner’s sugar
Place room-temperature pasteurised egg whites and powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Attach the whisk and combine ingredients on low, then whip on high for 5 minutes.
- 454 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
Add in your softened butter in chunks and whip on high for 8-10 minutes until it's very white, light and shiny. It may look curdled and yellow at first, this is normal. Keep whipping.
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 dash lemon extract
- ¼ tsp salt
Add vanilla extract, lemon extract and salt, and continue whipping until incorporated. Take about 1/4 of the buttercream and reserve in another bowl.
Add melted white chocolate to main buttercream mixture, careful not to touch sides of bowl. You can make a well in the center of the bowl & pour the chocolate into it.
Start whisk on slow & quickly increase to medium-high. Do not let the white chocolate touch the sides of the bowl, sit for any length of time, or not get mixed in immediately or it will cool into lumps throughout the icing. Scrape it down several times until fully mixed in. Whisk on medium-high for a few minutes, until light, fluffy & white.
Optional: Switch to a paddle attachment and mix on low for 15-20 minutes to make the buttercream very smooth and remove air bubbles.
- 43 g strawberry reduction (room temperature)
For the strawberry buttercream, add the strawberry reduction to the bowl with the reserved buttercream. Continue whipping until incorporated.
- 150 g cream
- 450 g white chocolate
- heatproof bowl
To make the white chocolate ganache, finely chop 450g white chocolate and place in a bowl. Bring the cream to the boil in a medium saucepan; remove from the heat.
Add to the white chocolate, and stir until smooth. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until thick and spreadable.
- serrated knife
- cake board
- cake turntable
To assemble, use a bread knife to trim dome and edges off cakes. Place a cake board onto a cake turntable. Spread a small amount of strawberry buttercream on cake board.
Place red strawberry cake on top. Top with a thin layer of strawberry reduction. Then using an offset spatula, top with strawberry buttercream. Repeat with second strawberry cake.
Then place pink white chocolate mud cake on top, and add a layer of white chocolate ganache. Top with the final white chocolate mud cake.
Coat cake with crumb coat of white chocolate buttercream. Place in fridge for 15 mins.
Optional: to make an ombré buttercream effect, set up four bowls in a row. Divide the white chocolate buttercream evenly into the first and fourth bowls. Tint the fourth bowl with some pink food coloring, and mix until smooth.
Put a medium-sized blob of the pink buttercream and a smaller blob of the white buttercream in the third bowl. Then put a medium-sized blob of the white buttercream and a smaller blob of the pink buttercream in the third bowl.
Mix the buttercream in each of the bowls until smooth.
Using a small offset spatula, roughly spread the pinkest buttercream around the sides of the lowest layer of your cake. Then smooth out. Repeat with the other colours of buttercream for the other layers, slightly smudging the edges of the layers.
Use an icing scraper or bench scraper to smooth edges, wiping clean in between each use. Decorate as desired. (Here is a picture from the second time I’ve made the cake.)