Nothing celebrates the end of a long day like a decadent slice of heaven made with champagne, chocolate and strawberries.

Like so many other foodies, I am not without my vices. Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you my weaknesses include wine, coffee, pizza, and chocolate – in no particular order.

So when I came across an amazing white cake recipe made with champagne, my curious mind began to wander. What if I made a chocolate cake instead of a white cake and included real strawberries? Of course, this sent me off on a wild ride, stretching the limits of baking.

I had once read that if you really want to capture the taste of strawberries in a cake, you need to reduce them and then refrigerate overnight to cool, before adding them to your batter.

With this knowledge in hand, I set out to create the epitome of chocolate lover’s delight.

 RECIPE

What you’ll need:

  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • Champagne
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 pound of fresh strawberries
  • 2 – 9 x 1½” cake pans

DIRECTIONS

Since you want your strawberry reduction cooled before adding it to your cake mix, you’re gonna want to make this a day before and refrigerate it overnight. If you’re not sure how to reduce strawberries, checkout my how-to video below.

Take 1 pound of strawberries and puree them in a blender or food processor. You should end up with about 1 cup of puree

Next, heat the puree on low flame on the stove until it becomes a thick paste (which is about 20-30 minutes). Remembering to stir often. Once you’ve reduced it to a paste-like form, cover it and refrigerate overnight.

Strawberry Reduction

PREHEAT oven according to the instructions on the box (this will vary depending on type of pans used and altitude).

Prepare your cake mix according to the directions BUT, substitute the water for the same amount of champagne.

Mix all the ingredients together.

Next, add your strawberry reduction and mix until all ingredients are blended together.

Now your ready to pour the batter into your pans.  You can either flour your pans with a bit of oil and flour, or you can use parchment paper to line the bottom.

Pop them into the oven for about 20-30 minutes (or until done). You’ll know they’re done when you insert a knife or toothpick into the center of the cakes and they come out clean.

Remove cakes and let them cool.

One they’re cool, invert them onto two separate plates. If the cakes need a bit of trimming on top to even them out, I like to use no-wax dental floss to cut off the tops to give it an even layer. Just take the ends of the floss in each hand and run it from one end of the cake to the other to remove the amount needed to create a flat surface top.

Now you’re ready to frost. I cheated and used frosting from a can (almost homemade). But in the future, I will skip this and go the extra mile by making my own frosting. It makes a world of difference.

I held the two layers of cake together with frosting, but you can use filling, which will work just as well.

Voila!

There you have it. All your vices rolled into one heavenly dish of chocolate goodness, right at your fingertips. And because one of my vices happens to be wine, I paired it with a glass of Cabernet to offset the richness of the chocolate. Talk about guilty pleasures!

Bon Appetit!

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