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Chocolate Strawberry Celebration Cake

  • Cake:
  • 1 pkg. chocolate cake mix
  • 1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips, optional
    Frosting:
  • 2 c. butter, softened
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 3/4 c. baking cocoa
  • 1/2 c. 2% milk
    Garnishes:
  • 2 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled
    Ganache:
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

Preparation:

Combine the cake ingredients, beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Transfer to 2 greased and floured 9" round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 28-32 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Frosting: Beat the butter, powdered sugar and cocoa until blended; add milk and beat until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Pipe or spoon chocolate onto wax paper in decorative designs. Let stand until set. Ganache: Place chocolate in small bowl, heat cream just to boil, pour over chocolate. Stir until melted. Pour over cake, allowing ganache to drape down over sides. Arrange strawberries upside down on top of cake. Arrange chocolate designs on top also. Yield: 12 servings.