This was a birthday cake inspired by and created for my brother, who has always loved strawberries. It was very moist chocolate cake, filled and frosted with strawberry grand marnier buttercream. I piped a star pattern throughout the top layer and arranged strawberry halves around the edge. To further enhance the strawberry flavor, I spread strawberry preserves in the middle layer.
The chocolate band was a challenge and not advisable in this hot and humid July northeast weather. I spread melted chocolate onto aluminum foil, waited a bit for it to set, traced a freeform wavy design on the top, and wrapped it around the cake. I did this in two stages, half a band at a time, allowing the chocolate to set in the refrigerator before peeling off the foil.
Despite the difficulties I had working with chocolate, the cake drew oohs and aahs at the party. The taste was a hit, as well. Not terribly sweet and well balanced, according to the host and chef. Pretty and tasty!