Thursday 10 November 2011

Checkerboard Cake

It’s been a week since I updated this little space of mine…. Even though I have several recipes ready, I was not getting enough time to type and post…. It’s been a very busy week as we are in the middle of a 9 day Eid break which we are enjoying to the maximum in this lovely weather. Two days ago it was my birthday and I made this checkerboard cake. I didn’t have any checkerboard pans with me, so I made 4 different cakes from the batter and assembled it…. Cake recipe was adapted from Joy of Baking…. it’s an easy one bowl cake….

Checkerboard Cake
(Adapted from Joy of Baking originally from Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum)

3 ounces (85 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups (320 ml) milk, divided
1 tablespoon (12 grams) pure vanilla extract
4 cups (400 grams) sifted cake flour
2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar
tablespoons (30 grams) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces (I only added 1/2 cup butter)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Grease, flour or line four 6” round pans, if you want 4 layers like I made  and if you have checkerboard cake pans flour and line three 9 by 1 inch (23 x 2.54 cm)  with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Melt the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.  Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the 4 large eggs, 1/3 cup (80 ml) of milk, and 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract.  Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and beat to combine.  Add the butter and remaining 1 cup (240 ml) milk and beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes.   Scrape down the sides.  Gradually add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat to incorporate the ingredients.
  • Divide the batter in half, placing each in a separate bowl. Stir the melted chocolate into one bowl of batter until it is thoroughly combined.  Now if you have checkerboard pans proceed like in the original recipe in Joy of Baking. And if you don’t have checkerboard cake pan, divide each batter in to two equally and bake 4 cakes of equal size, that is two vanilla and two chocolate cakes. (If you only want two layers bake one cake each in a bigger pan).
  • Bake about 20 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the center.  The cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans only after removal from the oven.   Be sure that you do not over bake this cake or it will be dry. 
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.  Loosen the sides with a knife or spatula and invert onto a greased wire rack.  To prevent splitting, reinvert so that the tops are up and cool completely.
Assembling the cake: 
  • Cut each cake into 3 circles uniformly using cookie cutter/ lid. Now swap inner circle rings with opposite layer. Spread little ganache inside of each circle before putting in the next piece. This keeps the pieces together when the cake is cut.
  • Place first layer on a wire rack.  Spread with a thin layer of ganache. Place the second layer on top of the first and spread with another thin layer of ganache, then repeat with the third and fourth layer. 
  • Pour the rest of the ganache on the top of the cake and with a spatula gently spread the ganache so it drips down the sides of the cake.  Use leftover ganache to cover any missed spots. 
  • Once the ganache has set gently transfer the cake, using a large offset spatula, to a platter or cake stand.
  • Store 2 days at room temperature or 5 days refrigerated although this cake is best eaten the first day.


9 ounces (250 grams) of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
  • Place the chopped chocolate in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Transfer the chocolate to a stainless steel bowl.
  • Meanwhile, place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand about 5 minutes.  Stir gently and, if necessary, strain through a fine strainer to remove any lumps.  Stir in brandy.  Allow to cool until ganache is lukewarm and pourable.
Check out this video on You Tube to get an idea of assembling the cake.  

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  1. Looks so pretty Swapna,should try this someday!

  2. Very new to me .Luv to try it soon.Thanks for sharing a super-good recipe.

  3. Wow looks so wonderful, luv the perfect checks in ur cake

  4. wow!!cake looks very beautiful n perfect...great job!

  5. Perfect Looping Cake, u have done a Good job

  6. Wow wat a beautiful looking cake, great job..

  7. OMg, mouth watering here.. looks absolutely perfect and tempting.. awesome job dear :)
    Indian Cuisine

  8. wow...
    cake looks awesome and very tempting:)

  9. I've been wanting to try this cake ever since I saw it. Good work here, must hav tasted great too right?

    Belated bday wishes to you!


  10. Wow,beautiful and tempting cake

  11. Hi Swapna!!
    The youtube link is not working:(
    Could you please give the web address or video name so that I could search?

  12. This is so tempting.. Should definitely try this out one day

  13. Even I made it sometime back n thoroughly enjoyed it while making...looks nice,good pattern

  14. They look absloutley beautiful,and so so yumm. I always think aobut buying the pan to make them but ill now have not done it.
    Same here i have not updated my place for a week, just did though now.

  15. Wow, beautiful, awesome is all understated!
    Have no words to comment about the perfect creative sense here!

  16. Hey I wanted to know how you did the decoration with white chocolate??

    1. Hi Asha,
      Pipe the melted chocolate on a parchment paper with design underneath. When set stuck the parchment around the cake on ganache and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Sorry for the late reply :)


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