¾ cup boiling water
¾ cup cocoa powder
225 g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
1 ½ cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup buttermilk
250 g punnet fresh strawberries, hulled
125 g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
125 g cold cream cheese, chopped
1 cup icing sugar mixture
- Grease a 22cm round cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper.
- Whisk water with cocoa in a heatproof jug until smooth. Cool.
- Beat butter and sugar in a small bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Reduce speed to low. Gradually beat in cocoa mixture until combined. Mixture will look curdled at this stage. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add combined sifted flour, baking powder and soda with buttermilk in two batches. Stir until smooth. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth over top.
- Cook in a moderately slow oven (160C) for about 1 hour, 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- To make frosting, process half the strawberries in a food processor until smooth. Strain. Discard seeds. Beat butter in same clean bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese and sugar. Beat until smooth. Add 1 tbsp of the strawberry puree. Beat on low speed until just combined.
- Spread frosting over top and side of cake. Cut remaining strawberries in half. Decorate top of cake with strawberries. Drizzle over remaining strawberry puree.