3 cups plain flour
2 tsp bi-carb soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbls instant coffee
1 cup hot water
1 cup cocoa
1 cup cold water
200g room temp butter
2 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 tbls good quality vanilla extract
Preheat over to 170 degrees C.
Grease and line 3 x 20cm round cake tins.
Sift into a mixing bowl the flour, soda, baking powder and salt.
Into another bowl mix the hot water, cocoa and coffee. Blend until completely smooth. Mix in the cold water and whisk until smooth.
In yet another bowl - hang in there its worth the washing up! Cream the butter for at least 2 minutes. Add one third of the caster sugar and beat for another 2 mins. Continue until all the sugar added.
Beat the butter / sugar mix for between 2 mins and 5 mins - until sugar has almost dissolved and is light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time to the creamed butter - beating for at least 1 min each time. After all 4 eggs added beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat well.
Alternate addition of 1/4 flour mix and 1/4 cocoa mix. Beat slowly between each addition - don't over beat at this point or the mixture stiffens.
Divide mixture between the three tins.
Bake for around 30-40 mins - check often as every oven will vary!
Chocolate Fudge Layer Filling
NOTE: This makes 3 cups which is quite a lot of filling.
1 1/2 cups cream (don't even think of low fat!)
400g chocolate (dark or milk - your call)
1/2 cup whipped cream
In a heavy saucepan bring the cream to boil gently. Add cream to the chocolate in a mixing bowl.
Leave for 1 min to soften the chocolate and slowly blend with a wooden spoon. Try not to incorporate any air to achieve a silky ganache.
Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature fold the mixture with a fork to open up the texture.
Using a silicone or rubber spatula fold half of the whipped cream. Add the remaining cream and fold lightly.
If you want a lighter mousse add more whipped cream!
Assembling the cake.
Once the cakes are cool cut the dome off the cakes to flatten them.
Cover the bottom tier with the Chocolate Fudge Mousse and strawberries.
Add the next tier, press down slightly and move up to the second teir. Cover in fudge mousse and strawberries and pop on the top layer. Press down slightly.
Crumb coat the cake in your frosting of choice.* Make sure your crumb coat gets right into the layers so there is no lines on the outside of the cake.
Once the crumb coat is dry frost with your choice of frosting. I used a chocolate butter cream and decorated with more strawberries.
* Crumb coating is a preparation layer - a very thin frosting layer that you allow to harden. Almost like a primer when you are painting a wall.