First Attempt: Checkerboard Cake

Good evening!

     Generally, every single recipe I post on here is from my first try, but this one is extra special, because it’s a little more difficult than your usual cake. Although the cake was slightly falling apart, I am still so happy with the result! 🙂 Besides, I covered the evidence with powdered sugar, haha. Normally you have four layers, but I decided it would be too big for the family. Since I am back in Azerbaijan, I always have at least four “judges”: my sister, my parents, and my grandmother. They all approved my Victoria sponge checkerboard cake! I made one Victoria sponge cake using Mary Berry’s recipe and one Dr. Oetker chocolate Victoria sponge cake, with a layer of chocolate icing in between. However, I halved the measurements, as the original recipes make a sandwich (two layers).

Checkerboard Cake

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     Take two bowls, one for each cake, and mix all the ingredients with an electric mixer. Then grab a 20 cm. cake pan, line it with parchment paper, and pour one of the batters into it. If you have a very large oven, you can bake both cakes at the same time, but I decided to bake one at a time. Each will bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Allow them to cool before you start preparing them.

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    Now here comes the slightly tricky part, which is the assembly. The goal is to cut two circles inside each sponge cake, so you will essentially have three circles of each color. It will be a bit messy and crumbly, as it is difficult to remove the circles. I used an A4 paper to trace the cake and outline the circles, but you can be a perfectionist and use items, like a small plate and a mug. By the way, don’t be sad if the cake starts falling apart, because you will hardly notice as you assemble and frost the cake. Also, you can watch Mary Berry’s video demonstration of how to arrange the cake in order to create a checkerboard, as it might be easier to understand.

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     Once I completed the bottom layer, I made chocolate icing and frosted this layer before assembling the top layer. For the icing you need about 60 grams of butter, 150 grams powdered sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa, and about 3 tablespoons of milk. I do this by eye, so I don’t have very precise measurements, but just keep mixing till you have a nice combination. If it becomes runny, add more cocoa, and if it’s still thick, add more milk. Also, keep tasting it, because if it tastes too much like butter, then add some more powdered sugar. Once you add the second layer of the cake, cover the top with powdered sugar if you desire. In my case, I used the powdered sugar to hide my mistakes 😀

 

     In the end you will have a nicely balanced cocoa and vanilla cake, with a hint of chocolate icing in the middle. As most of the recent cakes I have been baking, this one is also fluffy, melting in your mouth. Moreover, it is such a nice sight! I was so excited when I cut the cake and saw the checkerboard! 🙂 Isn’t it so cute?! I am aware it is far from perfect, but I am sure with practice and more precision it will be even better 🙂 One day I might even experiment with colors. Let me know if you try this recipe out!

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Until next time!

– Zi

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