A chocolate layer cake filled with chocolate cream and slices of strawberries covered with a glossy ganache – perfect for a birthday party.
Heat the oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit (170 degrees Celsius) and grease a round nine-inch (22-centimeter) pan.
Break the chocolate into squares and place in a bowl. Add butter and melt together in a microwave oven or double boiler until everything is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Add sugar and salt and beat well until smooth.
Add the eggs gradually, one after the other, mixing between each addition.
Add milk and beat until smooth.
Add flour and baking powder and mix until it becomes a smooth batter.
Pour the batter into the pan and level out the top.
Bake for 30–40 minutes or until the cake sets and a toothpick stuck in its center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely at room temperature.
Level the top of the cake with a long serrated knife and cut the cake into two equal layers.
Put one cup (250 milliliters) cream and chocolate squares in a bowl and melt together in a microwave or a double boiler until everything is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Chill the cream until it is completely cold.
Transfer the cream to a mixer bowl, add the remaining half cup (125 milliliters) cream, and whip until you get a very smooth and firm cream.
Place the first layer of the cake on a serving dish.
Brush the cake with a little milk and spread about one third of the cream in a thin layer.
Arrange thin slices of strawberries close together on top of the cream and place the top layer of cake on top.
Brush the cake with a little milk and cover the cake with the rest of the cream on the top and sides. Use a palette knife for best results.
Chill the cake for two hours in the refrigerator for the coating to set.
Break the chocolate into squares and place in a bowl. Add the cream and melt together in a microwave or double boiler until everything is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Cool the ganache for half an hour at room temperature so it will not be too hot.
Pour the ganache over the cold cake and let it drip gently down the sides as well.
Arrange whole strawberries on the top of the cake and serve.
Keep the cake in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Instead of strawberries you can use raspberries, cherries or any other berries you like.