Thursday, 30 September 2010

Checkerboard Cake.

I've been going to my local library to check out the cookery books. It's the best of both worlds as you get to try all sorts of different recipes and without having to buy a expensive book! My library has a decent selection to browse through and so a couple of weeks ago I brought back the "Green & Blacks Chocolate Recipes". I had a quick look through and the cake that struck me the most was the checkerboard. It is a pretty big cake, so it deserved a big occasion - my friend's 20th! 

Checkerboard Cake (adapted via "Green & Blacks Chocolate Recipes")

Vanilla batter:
225g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
10g baking powder

Chocolate batter:
225g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
220g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
10g baking powder

Vanilla frosting:
80g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache:
150g dark chocolate (minium 60% cocoa solids)
150ml whipping cream

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.
2. Butter the three cake tins and line the bases with greaseproof paper.
3. Make the vanilla cake batter. Cream together the butter and sugar thoroughly. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing until well incorporated, then add vanilla extract. Sift together the flour and baking powder andt add to mixture, stirring well. Take note that this mixture will be quite stiff!
4. Make the chocolate cake batter. Same instructions as before (minus the vanilla extract of course!) and sift in the cocoa powder at the same time as the flour and baking powder. Stir. Once again, the mixture will be stiff.
5. Time to make the rings of batter! You can either do this by placing the cake batters in different piping bags and piping a ring around, or do what I did and spoon a rough circle shape around the tins. Start by piping a ring of vanilla, then chocolate etc. On the next cake pan, start with a ring of chocolate then vanilla etc and then finally on the third cake pan repeat the pattern from the first.

I ran out of cake tins and had to make one cake in a pie dish!

  6. Bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
7. Leave cakes in their tins to cool for around 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
 8. Prepare the vanilla frosting. Mix together the butter and icing sugar with an electric whisk. Mix together the milk and vanilla extract and add a teaspoon of the mixture at a time while whisking. Stop adding milk when mixture sticks to the back of the spoon and is light. Whisk for around 4-5 minutes.
9. Once your cakes are cool, place the first vanilla ring on the bottom and spread vanilla frosting over the top. Place the chocolate ring on top and repeat. Finally add the other vanilla ring on top.
 10. Make the ganache. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted set aside.
11. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then pour the hot chocolate over the cream mixture whilst continuing to mix until the chocolate has just blended.
12. Once the ganache is cool, spread over the entire cake.

I iced mine with a birthday message. It was my first time actually writing words, so it was a bit dodgy!

 It was a surprise to find out how well the checkerboard design had worked out as, of course, I only got to see inside when the birthday boy cut the cake! I think the idea of checkerboard was there - it would have probably been better if I had piped the rings so they were consistent but still!


  1. wow now thats a cake! it looks good though :)

  2. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. sublime cupcakes