Wednesday 10 October 2012

Checkerboard Cake

Birthdays in the family are always a perfect occasion for a crazy baker like me to jump onto a recipe that has been waiting to be tried for a long time. And this birthday was indeed a very special one for various reasons. To begin with, it was my mothers birthday on the 6th of october who herself had forgotten about the date. This was very much expected as it is now an annual affair!
Being a Saturday, she had very casually invited us for lunch and dinner. I decided to surprise her by baking this checkerboard cake that I saw on Cook-Eat-Burrrp, an amazing blogsite by Pallavi. I decided to do a dark and a white chocolate cake. 
I managed to bake the dark chocolate cake a night before the D day. And then disaster struck right on the D day. I got up feeling uneasy and threw up previous nights awesome mutton curry made by hubby dear. 

Where there is a will, there definitely is a way!!
In spite of my illness I was determined to finish the good work(cake) I had started. And the biggest help came from my companion in all times, Vishal. He helped me a lot to get this cake assembled while I was all dazed in my illness. By the end of it, I was feeling so sick I could'nt even write a 'Happy birthday Mummy' on the cake and had to just childishly sprinkle some chocolate chips. 
We managed to keep the surprise hidden from mummy  as she was away with friends by the time we reached. After lunch we went merrily in our afternoon slumber. When I woke up, I was greeted by some of my mothers friends who could'nt stop appreciating my cake. 
MY CAKE!!! A voice inside me screamt-''Did you just have my cake?? The cake I have been painfully preparing since morning and the one that I have been wanting mummy to cut and get surprised!!"
I looked at my poor cake, half demolished! Sigh!! 
My mother still could not understand why I made such a big ruckus(once her friends had gone) !! She had no idea it was her birthday cake!
Lesson learnt- Always write a birthday note on your cake!!
Well, in the end I was glad my cake got over in no time !! Everybody loved it. Baker's delight!!

Ingredients : 
For the dark chocolate layer:
I have halved the recipe from Hershey's site
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp refined flour
  • 1 cup sugar (powdered)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Grease and line a 9" round baking tin.

Take a bowl and mix sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla essence. Mix well so all the ingredients are well incorporated. Stir in boiling water (do not worry about lumps).The batter will be quite thin.

Pour the batter in the prepared tin.

Bake for 40-45 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool the cake on a rack.

For the white chocolate layer :

Follow the same recipe with these modifications
  • Use 1/2 cup sugar
  • Instead of cocoa powder use 1/4 cup grated white chocolate and melt it on a double boiler or microwave for 1 min.
Follow all the other ingredients as in the dark chocolate cake and follow the same procedure.

Chocolate Whipping cream:
  • 250 ml whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate
Boil cream in a heavy bottomed pan. Grate dark chocolate in a bowl. Pour boiled cream in the bowl and whisk till the chocolate melts. Cool till room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. 
Whip the cream on an ice bath(a bowl of ice) till you get soft peaks. 

You will need
  • 3 different sized round shaped cutters
  • Chocolate Whipped cream

You will have two cakes- dark chocolate and white chocolate to begin with. 
You will need 3 different sized round cutters-I used a 7 inch round cake tin, a 4 inch round steel bowl and a 2 inch round cookie cutter. 
Cut each cake with these cutters. You will have 3 dark chocolate cake rings and 3 white chocolate cake rings and 2 small cake circles. 
Now alternate the cake rings by applying a coat of whipped cream to the insides.This is the first tier.
Make another tier with the same method and place it on the first tier by applying whipped cream (to bind)
A rough diagram to understand the assembling as I failed to take the pics
The final assembly

Cover the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream and put in the refrigerator to set for 5 mins. Take out and with the help of the back side of a spoon, make soft peaks on the cream. Sprinkle dark and white chocolate chips(As I didn't have white chocolate chips, I used small chunks of white chocolate) Put in the refrigerator again to set till required.

Happy Cake eating


  1. Looks beautiful and moist..Love to try it..

    1. Thanks saraswathi, its definitely worth a little effort.

  2. Belated birthday wishes to your mother. This checker board cake looks delicious and perfect I love it.

    1. Thanks for the sweet wishes Swathi. How I wish she remembered it was her birthday!! Thanks for liking.

  3. how do you manage to do so much with a lil one Amrita. it looks amazing and really very well made. I once made it exactly the same way.
    Belated b'day wishes to your Mom.

    1. Sayantani, truly believe you can always find a little time to do what you love to do!! Have to thank my darling daughter for being so sweet and not bother me much and obviously my husband Vishal who happily takes care of Vaanya while I am busy with my baking/cooking. Thanks for liking and the wishes.

  4. this is just superb, don't know when and if i will ever get down to trying it but will definitely try. kudos to u :)
    and belated wishes to aunty...incidentally amit shares the birthdate with her, and i baked your extra gooey brownies for his bday which came out super :)

    1. Happy Belated birthday to Amit.Hope he really enjoyed his chocolatey treat!!



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