Friday, 9 November 2012

Strawberry and Chocolate Checkerboard Cake

I wanted to create a checkerboard cake without the pan and I am kind of made it, but I was a bit clumsy. When I tested my chocolate cake, it slipped from my hand and dropped to the rack. The result is a knocked back little bit dense cake. I was really disappointed as I aimed to create a real checkerboard cake, so I needed the same hight sponge as the with of each "square". I still have the effect, but it is more rectangular than squares. Anyway I was still proud of myself as for first try it wasn't a total disaster. Without the special pan I left with an extra layer of sponge....but hey it is always nice with some fresh cream a strawberries.

Strawberry and Chocolate Checkerboard Cake

For the chocolate sponge
150 g self-raising flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
175 g butter at room temperature
175 g golden caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1-3 tbsp milk
100 g 70% dark chocolate, melted and cooled

For the pink sponge
150 g self-raising flour
150 g caster sugar
150 g butter, at room tempeature
2/3 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 tbsp milk
red fool colouring

For the strawberry cream (here I increased the amount of cream because I found it too little at the time)
350 g fresh strawberries +extra if you want to decorate
300 g mascarpone
2-3 tbsp icing sugar(to taste)
1 dream topping

Heat the oven to 180 C. Butter and base line 2 X 18-20 cm round cake tin with baking parchment.

For the chocolate sponge:Put all the cake ingredients except the chocolate in a  large bowl. Beat them together with an electric mixer until you have a creamy mixture, then fold in the melted chocolate. Add a little more milk if the mix is too stiff- it should fall easily form a spoon.

Divide the mixture into the prepared tins and bake in the oven for 20 -25 minutes or until the sponge springs back when pressed. Cool the cake on a cake rack.

For the pink sponge beat all the cake ingredients together except the colouring until you have a smooth, soft batter. Add a little food colouring and mix together well. 

Prepare the same cake tins as you used for the chocolate sponge and divide the mixture into the 2 prepared tins. Bake in the oven for 20 -25 minutes or until the sponge springs back when pressed. Cool the cake on a cake rack.

I planned the whole process ahead, as I work with numbers, I thought won't have any problem. 
My plan: measure the diameter of your pan, lets say you have a 20cm pan. Then all sponge circle should have the same width of 4cm (for the middle 4cm should be the diameter). I made a sketch in paint for you as I am pretty bad explaining:
I planned to draw the circles on a baking parchment and just place on top of the cake layers and cut them out. But in the end I have been informed we don't have a paired compass................
So I did all cutting by the eye. It was pretty reasonable, and obviously you can make more than 3 sponge rings, it is all up to you.

But if you want a pretty checkerboard cake you should make sure to have the same hight sponge as the width. So if you have 4cm rings your sponge should be 4cm high. (it helps if you don't drop the half ready sponge to collapse....)

To make the cream just simply bland  the strawberries with a hand blender than add it to the mascarpone, icing sugar and dream topping. Mix the ingredients together and add a little food colouring.

When it is ready you can layer your cake: 
Bottom layer: chocolate-pink-chocolate, middle: pink-chocolate-pink, top layer: chocolate-pink-chocolate. I didn't put on the 4th layer as this cake was only meant for 4 people so it was more than enough anyway.

Finish off with a cream layer outside, so your guest can't see the "secret" until it is cut:)
Keep it in the fridge and serve with whipped cream and strawberries.

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