or: a belated birthday cake from the grill
Before my son Lukas turned 4 in the beginning of June, I asked him what kind of cake I should make. “Strawberry Chocolate Cake” was his immediate response…. very creative that little guy, we’ve never had such cake before! But why not, I agreed it sounds good and started the recipe research for strawberry chocolate cake. And then, it happened. Again. Our oven didn’t work. The repair guys had already been here 3 times since we moved in beginning March and it was the time to realize that the 15-year old oven probably needs to be replaced. Given some special dimensions the search for a new one turned out difficult….
So, this was Lukas’ first birthday without a home-made birthday cake. The alternative was a delicious Danish Strawberry Cake from the bakery and he was very happy with it. Phew! One week later, Timos parents came for a weekend and they brought me a new cooking book: “Raffinierte Tartes” by the German chef Alfons Schubeck and Annik Wecker, cooking book author and former wife of the musician Konstantin Wecker. On our bookshelf, you can read more about the book, but the one thing that matters here is: it contained a recipe for a Strawberry Pie with a chocolate base. Sounded delicious… like the perfect cake for Timos upcoming birthday. Kind of a shared cake for Timo and Lukas…
The oven was still not working, but why not try out the gas grill? Luckily Timo had made his dream of a large gas grill come true in the spring, and during our multiple oven breakdowns, the grill saved us. So this year, we already had the low temperature Easter lamb shank from the grill, Pizza from the grill (even better than from the oven!), and I had even made Lasagna on the grill. So why not a cake? Worth a try, rather than celebrating a second birthday without a home-made one… The base of the strawberry chocolate cake was a chocolate shortbread dough, which should be baked before the topping is added. I prepared the dough, placed the cake form on the grill… and it worked! And tasted great – admittedly, a little too well done underneath, so I recommend the oven for reapplication 😉
In the original recipe, the strawberries on the cake are covered by a gelatine-based glaze (Tortenguss). I prepared it without as I like the pure taste of the strawberries better, especially now in the peak season.
Recipe for Strawberry Chocolate Cake
Shortbread Dough (28cm diameter)
- 200g cold, salted butter
- 100g powder sugar
- 175g flour
- 75g cocoa powder
- 100g very soft butter
- 200g cream cheese (room temperature)
- 100g crème fraiche
- 1 vanilla pod
- 100g powder sugar
- 2 tbsp freshly pressed lemon juice
- 500g strawberries
- Cake glaze – if you like
- Sieve the flour together with the cocoa powder.
- Mix the butter and the sugar. Add the flour and knead quickly until the dough is supple.
- Press the dough on the bottom of a springform and put into the fridge for 1-2 hours.
- Pre-heat the oven at 180°C. Bake shortcake dough for 12 minutes.
- Let dough cool down, but keep it in the springform.
- Mix all ingredients until you get a smooth cream. It’s important to use very soft butter, otherwise it doesn’t blend well with the other ingredients.
- Distribute cream evenly on the cold shortbread dough.
- Put cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Wash the strawberries and cut them into thin slices.
- Cover the cake evenly with the strawberry slices.
- Glaze the cake if you like.
- Keep cake in the fridge until you serve it.