Chocolate Cake with Balsamic Strawberry Whipped Cream Filling

by FoodBabbles on May 17, 2012

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This month for Improv Challenge, Kristen gave us strawberries and cream as our two ingredients. I could have gone so many different directions with those two ingredients but I’m so happy with the direction I chose.Β Brace yourself, I’m about to make a bold statement.

This cake may very well be, the BEST thing I’ve ever made. EVER.

I know, I know … With each post, I talk about the wonders of whatever delectable delight I’ve placed in front of you and they’re all wonderful. Truly. I wouldn’t lie to you. But this, this is different. As I ate it I actually thought to myself, “Kate, this is the best thing you’ve ever made.” I’m actually not much of a cake person. I enjoy a few bites but I rarely eat a whole piece and I’m not a fan of a lot of icing. But this cake is definitely my new favorite dessert. The filling is my favorite part. I love balsamic vinegar and I love using it in desserts. The strawberries simmered with the balsamic vinegar into a sweet syrup and folded into homemade whipped cream is beyond wonderful!

To further confirm the deliciousness of this creation, my mother-in-law sent me a text message after her sampling. It said “BEST CAKE EVER!” Just like that, all caps. Now, don’t get me wrong she will always let me know if she’s enjoyed something I’ve made. She’ll say something casually the next time we see one another or chat on the phone but she made a point to give me an immediate critique this time. My friend Mike scoffed down a gigantic piece at 7 o’clock in the morning just because he couldn’t help himself, uttering “It’s just so good. I can’t stop.” through mouthfuls of chocolatey goodness. Oh and this speaks volumes about the lusciousness of this cake… My husband, who doesn’t like strawberries very much and hates vinegar devoured two large pieces!

So what is it that makes this cake so good? Is it the incredibly moist, deeply chocolate cake? Or perhaps it’s the whipped cream filling with the balsamic strawberry syrup? Or maybe, just maybe it’s the rich chocolate ganache which graces the top and deliciously oozes down the sides? I don’t know exactly which thing is “the” thing, all I know is that when it’s all put together and hitting your palate, it’s a marvelous thing.

What’s your all-time favorite dessert?

Enjoy!

~K

Now don’t forget to go see what all the other “improvers” cooked up this month!



One Year Ago: Strawberry Shortcake PieΒ 

Chocolate Cake with Balsamic Strawberry Whipped Cream Filling

Yield: 1 cake

Chocolate Cake with Balsamic Strawberry Whipped Cream Filling

Moist, deeply chocolate cake with strawberry whipped cream filling and decadent ganache.

Ingredients

  • One recipe Rich & Dark Chocolate Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 12 ounces high quality, bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Make the chocolate cake and cool completely.
  2. Place strawberries, sugar, balsamic vinegar, vanilla bean seeds and pod into a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat until the strawberries break down and the mixture becomes thick and syrupy.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
  4. Finely chop the chocolate and place in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, warm 1 cup of the heavy cream until steam starts rising from it. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth and shiny. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, whip the remaining 1 1/4 cups heavy cream until soft peaks begin to form. Sprinkle in the powdered sugar and continue beating until medium stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the cooled strawberry syrup.
  6. Place one cake layer on cake stand and spread about half of the strawberry whipped cream over it. Top with second cake layer. Spread desired amount of remaining strawberry whipped cream over the top of the cake.
  7. Spoon the ganache of the top, gently spread it to the edge of the cake so that some falls down the sides. Top with fresh-cut strawberries. Allow the ganache to set. Keep refrigerated but allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving.
http://foodbabbles.com/chocolate-cake-with-balsamic-strawberry-whipped-cream-filling-improv-challenge/
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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

MommaD May 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

Again I say BEST CAKE EVER !!!!!

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FoodBabbles May 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Thanks!!! I will definitely be making this again for us in the future.

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Kristen May 17, 2012 at 11:24 am

Who are we to argue with your mother in law? It does look like a fabulous cake. Chocolate goes to well with strawberries.

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FoodBabbles May 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Thanks Kristen!! I’m so glad you like it.

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Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips May 17, 2012 at 11:49 am

Kate – this looks INCREDIBLE!!

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FoodBabbles May 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Thanks Brianne! That means so much to me πŸ™‚

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RecipeNewZ May 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I just saw your cake on the SRC board. Beautiful! Chocolate and strawberries and whipped cream – what can be better :-). And the pics are gorgeous! Love this recipe!

I would like to invite you to share this post (and other posts πŸ™‚ ) on a new photo based recipe sharing site that launched only last week. The idea is simple: all recipe photographs are published within minutes of submission. And, of course, the images link back to the author’s site.

It’s called RecipeNewZ (with Z) – http://recipenewz.com

I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some of your delicious posts with our viewers. It would be a pleasure to have you on board πŸ™‚

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FoodBabbles May 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Thanks for the invite! I’ll have to go over and check it out. I always love posting on photo based recipe sites. I’m so glad you like my cake!

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{Adventuresindinner} May 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm

WOW! Looks totally amazing! Happy Improv Day C:

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FoodBabbles May 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Thanks so much!!

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lisabethjean May 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Just looks too fabulous to eat! (But who am I to turn down rich dark chocolate, or strawberries, or whipped cream?)

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FoodBabbles May 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Thank you! It sounds like you’re my kinda gal πŸ˜‰ I would never turn down chocolate, strawberries or whipped cream and all three together, I’m powerless!

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Leslie Chapman May 17, 2012 at 6:31 pm

My sisters are addicted to chocolate, I will pass this recipe on!

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FoodBabbles May 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Hope they like it!! Thanks!

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Deanna Segrave-Daly (@tspbasil) May 17, 2012 at 8:20 pm

WOW! I think anyone who reads this post will be very happy the direction you took with the Improv Challenge this month! I thought of doing a balsamic reduction with the strawberries but this recipe goes way beyond what I could have dreamt up – can’t wait to make this!

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FoodBabbles May 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Thanks Deanna! That whipped cream was ridiculously good. I want to find many many ways to use it.

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Liz May 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Mmmmmm….this is one of my favorites in the challenge so far! Totally irresistible!

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FoodBabbles May 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Thanks Liz!! I’m so happy you like it.

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Amber May 18, 2012 at 10:56 am

Great recipe! Your cake is beautiful and looks delicious! I featured your recipe on my blog today: http://thecookssister.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/five-favourites-for-friday-16/

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FoodBabbles May 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Thanks so much, Amber! I really appreciate your comment as well as the feature.

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Teri @ The Freshman Cook May 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

First of all, it’s beautiful. Second, it looks and sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try this!

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FoodBabbles May 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Thanks Teri! If you try it, let me know what you think. I’d love to hear all about it.

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cravingsofalunatic May 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm

This looks positively sinful. Which already means I love it. It’s so pretty too. Great job on this.

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The Wimpy Vegetarian May 18, 2012 at 9:01 pm

This is just stunning! I love everything about it!!

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FoodBabbles May 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Wow! Thank you very much! I’m so glad you think so πŸ™‚

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Robyn May 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm

This cake sounds and looks luscious! I have seen strawberries and balsamic vinegar together, but not in a cake. It must make for an exceptional flavor. As for chocolate ganache…. Whoever invented it should go directly to heaven for such an incredible invention and for making so many people very happy!

Thaks for stopping in at my blog!

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FoodBabbles May 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Wow Robyn! Thank you so much for your fantastic comment!! I’m so glad you like my cake and I couldn’t agree more about ganache. It makes me so very happy πŸ™‚

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Janet Rudolph May 18, 2012 at 10:08 pm

OMG! Could lick the screen. The cake recipe is fab, and I love strawberries–and in this case strawberry balsamic vinegar.. with chocolate and cream. Great combination!

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FoodBabbles May 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm

What a great comment, Janet! I’m so glad I could entice you to lick the screen πŸ˜‰

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Lisa May 19, 2012 at 12:24 am

The minute I saw this cake, then saw it again on some photo sites, I knew I had to come here and wax poetic about how a slice of this cake would probably make me a very happy camper. It is beautiful! Best Cake Ever? I believe it! Your MIL has good taste, Kate! Bookmarked.

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FoodBabbles May 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Aww, Lisa! You always leave the nicest comments! Thanks you so much. I’m glad you like it.

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Anna @ hiddenponies May 22, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Wow, if this tastes even half as good as it looks I’d be happy! This sounds absolutely amazing, Kate…pinned for my next “cake occasion”!

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FoodBabbles May 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Aww, what a nice comment! Thank you so much, Anna. I’m so glad you like it.

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Mimi May 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Yum! I think that pretty much sums it up.
Mimi

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FoodBabbles May 25, 2012 at 10:31 am

Thanks Mimi! I’m so glad you like it πŸ™‚

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Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust May 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Oh my goodness, that is gorgeous. That chocolate…oh I need it!

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FoodBabbles May 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

What a great comment!! I’m so glad you like it Dorothy πŸ™‚

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Me And My Sweets May 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Hi,

I’ve started My Sweet Party, where I every month host a party with a theme (MAY theme is CHOCOLATE). The party is ongoing the entire duration of the month and then I will choose my top three favourites and feture those blogs. I would LOVE you to join My Sweet Party!

The last day to link up for May is the 31st of May.

http://meandmysweets.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/my-sweet-party-chocolate-cake-love.html

XXX
Johanna

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FoodBabbles May 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Thanks Johanna!! I’ll definitely head over and link up. Thanks for telling me about it!

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LDSapphire May 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I’m planning to make this for my mother’s 70th birthday next week. I’ve never used vanilla bean pods before, may I use vanilla extract instead? If so, how much?

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FoodBabbles May 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Ooo!! Happy happy birthday to your mother! That’s wonderful. I really hope everyone enjoys this cake. You may certainly substitute vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract will do the trick! Come back and let me know what you think of the cake. I can’t wait to hear!

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Triin August 20, 2012 at 8:05 am

I made this yesterday and even though mine didn’t have the aesthetic value like this one here, it was absolutely delicious! Even though I messed up the filling (I think because my syrup was very runny and I shouldn’t have put all of it into the whipped cream), it tasted wonderful! The balsamic vinegar did a miracle and even my bf was curious what was that extra flavour in the cake. Will definitely be making this cake again. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!

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Kate August 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Oooo! I’m so glad you made and enjoyed it! It’s definitely one of my personal favorites. It sounds like you just needed to reduce your syrup a little bit more. You want it syrupy, not thin or runny.

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Triin August 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Yes! That’s what I thought – that it was too runny. How would I fix that? Add sugar if the fruits give out too much juice? Heh, sorry about the n00b question.. But your blog has really inspired me and got me interested in baking, so thank you so much x

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Kate August 23, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Wow! Thank you so much Triin! I’m so glad that my blog has been able to inspire you. You have no idea how much that means to me. And no apologies!! Definitely ask me any question you’d like to πŸ™‚ As for the runny strawberry syrup, all you would do next time is to just simmer it longer. Sometimes it takes a while. But the longer you simmer it, the more it will reduce and this will result in the mixture getting thick and syrup instead of runny. Then let it cool completely and that will thicken it up also. Good luck! And never hesitate with your questions.

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Kerry September 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Oh my goodness, this sounds so delicious! I am making a birthday cake for my granddaughter and was looking for a filling for a chocolate cake! I am planning on covering the cake with fondant to dress it up as she asked for a princess cake. I am wondering if you think the cream would hold up for a couple of days in the fridge? I really want to try this filling, and also wonder if you have any ideas to incorporate the ganache into the cake as I wouldn’t be able to use it on top?? Thanks for any suggestions!

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Kate September 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Thank you so much for your comment, Kerry! I do think this cream filling would hold up in the fridge for a couple of days inside a filled cake. I would make it right before you’re filling the cake though. As for how to incorporate the ganache, perhaps you could put it between the layers, on top of the filling? I hope this all works for you! It’s honestly probably the best cake I’ve ever made and I hope you enjoy it. Please come back and let me know how it all works out! I can’t wait to hear.

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Jocelyn @BruCrew Life October 11, 2012 at 10:41 am

Ok, I just need a fork so I can dig right in!!! Holy cow this cake is amazing!!!!

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Kate October 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Wow! Thanks Jocelyn! πŸ™‚ I wish I could make a bigger smiley face cause I’m seriously grinning ear to ear and love that you love this cake the way I do. Thanks for the comment!

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Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom February 2, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Kate, wow!! I’m so glad you mentioned this! Wow. . this does look like it would be the BEST CAKE ever! πŸ™‚ I am so going to try this. . thank you for sharing! It looks amazing!

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Kate February 3, 2013 at 9:12 pm

You’re welcome! I have made this cake several times now. It’s become a family favorite. Even my husband who doesn’t like fruit involved in cake in any way, loves this cake. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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Meghan @ The Tasty Fork April 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Kate, you make the most beautiful food!! I wish I had this to eat right now!!

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Kate April 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Aww! Thank you Meghan! What a very nice thing to say!! That may have been one of the nicest comments I’ve ever gotten.

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Trish - Mom On Timeout April 6, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Oh my gosh! This cake looks AMAZING! I want a piece right now!

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Kate April 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm

It’s SO good! I’ve made it several times now. And it quickly became my mother-in-law’s favorite!

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Lara August 17, 2013 at 2:24 am

Kate- It is the best Cake! I didn’t manage that the ganache looks so lovely it just dropped down πŸ™ Any advice on that?
XO

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Kate August 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Oh I’m so happy to hear your enjoyed the cake but I’m so sorry Lara that your ganache didn’t do what you wanted it to πŸ™ I hate when that happens. And believe me, it happens to me too. I usually put spoonfuls right in the center of the cake until there’s a bit of an accumulation. I use the back of a spoon to gently push it towards the edge, adding more ganache to the center if I start seeing frosting peeking through where I’m pushing. I push it right to the edge and but not really over, I let gravity to the work. I also layer if I need to. And by that I mean, do that technique once and let it set a bit then add more ganache over the top to make it thicker. But also make sure your ganache isn’t running to begin with otherwise it’s going all the way down no matter what you do. Hope this helps!

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Roxanne August 14, 2015 at 8:45 am

I made your strawberry balsamic whipped cream and served it with a cauliflower (yes cauliflower!) chocolate cake months ago and it was amazing! I was too pressed for time to do the ganache back then, but today my son has requested strawberry chocolate cake for his birthday so I think we’ll do the whole shebang as written – except, we may be forced to use frozen strawberries as I haven’t seen decent fresh ones lately. Fingers crossed!

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Kate August 15, 2015 at 9:17 am

That cauliflower cake sounds so intriguing!!

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Roxanne August 14, 2015 at 9:41 pm

Reporting back on our second round with this fabulous cake – it was amazing. Frozen berries worked just fine, though I added a tiny squeeze of lemon juice at the end for brightness. My second 9″ pan got squished in the cabinet somehow, so I did three 8″ layers, and doubled the whipped cream recipe — perfection! I added 2 Tbsps of corn syrup and 1/2 Tbsp of vanilla to the ganache for gloss and it poured beautifully. Thanks for the best cake ever! I’m not normally a chocolate cake fan, but this was beyond delicious.

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Kate August 15, 2015 at 9:16 am

You have absolutely made my day Roxanne! I’m so glad that you’ve enjoyed this cake so much. It’s a favorite around here too and probably the cake that is most requested by family and friends. Thanks for telling me about your experience!

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Susan Neumann April 26, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Hi Kate,
I am so excited about this cake. The strawberry/balsamic reduction is so delicious! I am trying not to eat it all before the cake is ready – it is baking as I write. Btw, I am using a cake recipe which I found online by iambaker.net called The Best Chocolate Cake. I have made it before and it is absolutely delicious. I am a bit nervous about the ganache on top of the cream frosting and has visions of it becoming a bit mess, disappearing through the cream topping. I suppose I will just have to try! 😌 Thanks again for the recipe.

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Susan Neumann April 26, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Should be ‘have visions’

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Kate May 2, 2017 at 8:58 am

How did it turn out Susan? I hope it was wonderful! I’ve made this cake many times and never had the ganache disappear through the whipped cream so I hope you had the same results. That strawberry balsamic reduction is to die for!! So glad you liked this.

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Martyna April 28, 2017 at 9:18 am

No recipe for the ganache? Do you buy it?

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Kate May 2, 2017 at 8:57 am

Hello Martyna! Yes, the recipe for the ganache as well as the cake and filling are all there. Enjoy!

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