“I mean, what’s not to like? Custard, good. Jam, good. Meat, good!”

Checkerboard cake

I found this amazing cake on my Flipboard and immediately thought of my beloved friend, Sophie, whose bday was coming up. I fell in love with this cake and the website I found it at, you have to check it out, Heather is so talented and bakes with such a passion, her blog made it to Favorite Bookmarks in no time.

As the cake looked quite complicated, I made two trial versions to see if I am able to make it at all. In the original recipe the Cake Master makes six layers of cakes (using a small cake shape, about 16 cm), each if them colored differently and makes three circles in each, putting the different colors in each other. This is Heather’s picture, explains perfectly the procedure:

http://www.sprinklebakes.com

The first attempt of mine turned out OK, but as I did not measure the portion of the dough of the different colors accurately, one layer was higher than the other, which made difficult to insert them together. But it was so freaking delicious no one cared that it looks funny. For the first cake, I used only half portion of the original recipe. So a couple of weeks later I tried it again to see, how big the cake would be using the whole portion of ingredients. Let me tell you: HUGE! It was almost 25 cm high, very hard to cut and impossible to transfer. Here you can see the picture of the giant cake:

Originally it should have six layers, but one of my layers broke, so I worked with five. But this was too big of a challenge for me, so I even managed to miscalculate the different colors of layers and ended up with two yellow circles next to each other (you see the middle ones on top?):

So for the big day, Sophie’s birthday, I knew what I have to do. I used only half a portion of ingredients of the cake and my big cake shape about 24 cm to make three layers. I used the whole portion of the cream of the original recipe (I only needed 3/4 of it in the end, the rest ended up in a nice orange cheesecake). To make it look nice, I asked my other half for help to cover the cake with marzipan (we colored the marzipan with red and blue food coloring, so the cake was yellow, red and blue from the inside and purple from the outside).

It was very delicious and looked like a rainbow has exploded in it! Everyone loved it, I for sure will make it again for another special bday! :)

Ingredients:

For three 24 cm cakes:

  •  320 g  flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 240 ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 170 g melted butter
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp red  food color
  • 1 tbsp yellow food color
  • 1 tbsp blue food color

For the cream cheese filling:

  • 230 g melted butter
  • 440 g icing sugar
  • 450 g cream cheese (Philadelphia in my case)

Preheat the oven to 170 celsius.

  • Mix together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, stir together milk, eggs and lemon extract. In a third (the biggest) bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with a mixer until creamy. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the buttery sugar, then add 1/2 of the liquid mixture. When well combined, add the rest of the flour and the milky mixture.

And here comes a trick: Put an empty bowl on a digital scale, scoop the dough in it and measure it (if you do not forget to start beating the icing sugar and butter already on the scale, you can skip this as you would already have the weight without making another bowl dirty :) ). Now take another two small bowls or plates and scoop 1/3 of the dough into each. Like this you will have the same amount of every layer before coloring them, so you can avoid having a giant layer and a smaller one. Still, if a layer would be higher than the other after baking, just cut off the top of it to make it even.

Now that you have the three equal portions, you can add the food coloring, and pour the dough in a pan lined with baking paper. As I have only one 24 cm cake shape, I made one layer at a time, each baked for 20 minutes on 170 celsius, until a toothpick came out clean when plunging into the dough.

In the meanwhile I made the cheese cake cream. For this you have to beat butter and sugar in a bowl with a mixer until creamy (it should take about 2 minutes). Add cream cheese and mix until well combined.

So you have the three layers and the cream. Now you need to cut the circles out. Look for cups, lids or whatever you find to place on the dough and cut them around. I cut each of them into four circles and sticked them together following this pattern:

Each circle is needed to be creamed on the outer edge with the cream frosting before they’re placed into the other circle. Don’t use a lot of the cream, just enough to hold them all together when the cake is cut (2-3 mm of frosting per circle). When a layer is ready, spread a 2-3 mm layer of the cream frosting on top start the new layer. In the end cover the whole cake with a nice layer of the frosting before putting the marzipan on. Try to even out the small gaps with the cream, so the marzipan will be nice and flat on your cake.

 

My cake before cutting the extra marzipan off:

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