Or as my brother calls it… Pink Chocolate Checkered. It’s my mum’s 50th birthday next week and up till now I still haven’t got her a present yet. I have to admit she is a difficult person to buy pressies for as she gives no hints, no clues, no suggestions as what she would like. Her answer to ‘What would you like for your birthday’ is ‘I don’t want anything’ MUM!! I didn’t ask you what you don’t want for your birthday I asked what you DO want…. Hmph!!
It is sort of a tradition in my family, if it’s your birthday I bake you a birthday cake, something quick and easy, single height for less than a tenner, or a totally amazing cake, novelty or two tiers or more @ a discounted price. Yes I do charge my family or anyone for that matter for cakes. I don’t grow sugar paste, eggs, sugar and flour on bushes in my garden. So I have to buy ingredients, and they don’t come cheap. This cake is a practice cake for my Mum’s birthday. I always like to have a little practice run of a cake if I haven’t made it before. And I’m so glad I did!! The almond cake I used and tinted pink was far too light for this kind of cake work. Perfect for anything else though. And the cake wasn’t completely straight, but everything else went to plan.
My little brother LOVES GANACHE, and kept
bugging asking me to put ganache on the cake. So we decided to dribble the ganache down the sides. It looks so artistic against the graduated hues of pink. BEAUTIFUL!! I must admit the, making the checkered pattern wasn’t as hard as I though it would be. I used two cutters for the centre and the middle ring and for the outside I cut a paper plate to the size I desired. I stuck the rings with a little Nutella buttercream. For the cake you can use any flavour and or tint them any colour. I mixed equal amounts of milk and dark chocolate for the ganache so it wouldn’t me too sweet with the other components or too bitter. You can use any decoration for the cake, silver balls, sugar paste decorations or just leave it with the chocolate dribble
For the almond cake…
220g caster sugar
240g plain flour
20g ground almonds
1 1/2tsp almond extract
2tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Pink colouring paste if using
For the chocolate cake…
150ml boiling milk
50g cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate
1/2 tsp coffee granules
2oog soft brown sugar
1 tsp salt & vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
230g plain flour
For the buttercream…
500g icing sugar
10g cocoa powder
– Line 3x 8 inch tins. Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4.
– Cream butter and sugar together. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla(for chocolate cake) or almond extract(for almond cake)
– When making the chocolate cake, combine the milk with cocoa powder, chocolate and coffee together and allow to cool before adding to the egg mixture.
– Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until all the ingredients are just combined. At this stage if your are using food colouring add it in now and fold in gently. Pour into prepared tins and bake for approx 20mins.
– I made the chocolate mix first then whilst it was cooling made the almond mix and poured into the tins that I used for the chocolate(I don’t have six of the same sized tins)
– When both cakes have cooled cut out two circles of different sizes the inner one should be the smallest
– Cream butter and icing sugar till the butter cream turns white. Gradually add milk. Portion out 100g of the butter cream and mix with the Nutella and cocoa powder. Remove the middle layer from the almond cake and replace the chocolate middle. It should look a bit like this. Use the Nutella butter cream to stick the rings together and spread on top of the cake to sandwich the layers. Stack the cakes with the colours alternating.
Lightly coat the cakes in the butter cream and leave to rest in the freezer for 10 minutes till the butter cream has set. Set aside some butter cream in a bowl and tint it to your darkest shade of colour. Spread it around the bottom of the cake. then add some off the white butter cream to the dark and mix until it gets lighter. spread this slightly above the dark layer mixing it with the light butter cream.
Continue this till you get to the top then spread the remaining butter cream on the top smoothing it and removing any excess. Finish with the ganache coaxing it off the cake(if using) and decorate with your chosen sprinklesOh So Sweet Baker x