Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Espresso Muffins

So, what is the difference between a cupcake and a muffin? Is it just the absence of frosting in one? Or the excuse to eat dessert for breakfast? Whatever the difference, cake is cake. And these muffins are just right to eat any time of the day. The combination of chocolate chips and banana is something that I have already tried before with a cake, but adding coffee to it was something new. However, I could not taste any coffee even though I added double than the quantity called for! Hmm, maybe it's just that my taste buds can only detect chocolate and forget everything else!

Recipe Source - Annie's Eats

Ingredients - This recipe is for 12 Muffins but I got 12 regular plus 8 mini muffins

1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Espresso Powder
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Cups Very Ripe Bananas (Mashed - approx 4 Large Bananas)
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar  (Firmly Packed)
8 Tbsp (1/2 Cup/100 Gms) Unsalted Butter (Melted)
1/4 Cup Milk
1 Large Egg
1/3 Cup Mascarpone or Cream Cheese (At Room Temperature)
1 Cup Dark or Semisweet Chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the mashed bananas, sugar, brown sugar, butter, milk, egg and cream cheese. Mix on medium speed until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and
mix on low speed just until incorporated. Gently fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Happy Eating!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Daring Bakers - A Stollen For December

This months challenge was something completely new to me, both in terms of eating and making. Prior to this I had never heard of a stollen before and when I read its description, I was a bit put off because of the raisins. I absolutely hate fruit cake or anything with dried fruit in it and thought that I would have to skip this challenge. But then I saw a lot of variations on the recipe and decided to just remove the raisins and continue with the recipe.

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

Stollen is a bread-like fruitcake made with yeast, water and flour, and usually with zest added to the dough. Candied orange peel and candied citrus is often also added. It is a very traditional German Christmas bread and the traditional shape is that of a loaf that was originally meant to represent the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. For this challenge we were asked to make the stollen in a wreath shape.
The recipe and instructions were pretty straightforward and I had absolutely no trouble with it. Well, except the part where the stollen baked into a huge wreath and I couldn't even carry it! It is a nice bread which tastes great toasted with butter. I will make a stuffed french toast with half the bread this weekend.

Stollen Wreath Recipe - Given as I made it, for the original recipe, pictures and more helpful hints check here.

Ingredients - Makes one large wreath or two traditional shaped Stollen loaves. Serves 10-12 people

1/4 Cup (60ml) Lukewarm Water (110º F / 43º C)
2 Packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup (240 ml) Milk
10 Tbsp (150 ml) (140 grams) Unsalted Butter (Can use salted butter)
5 1/2 Cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) All-purpose (plain) Flour (Measure flour first - then sift- plus extra for dusting)
1/2 Cup (120 ml) (115 gms) Sugar
3/4 Tsp (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) Salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
1 Tsp (5 ml) (6 grams) Cinnamon
3 Large Eggs (lightly beaten)
Grated Zest of 1 Lemon and 1 Orange
2 Tsp (10 ml) (very good) Vanilla Extract
1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) flaked almonds
1 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut
Melted Unsalted Butter for coating the wreath
Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) Sugar for dusting wreath

Make The Dough

1. Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.
2. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (240 ml) milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium - low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.
3. Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and the vanilla extract.
4. In a large mixing bowl (4 qt) (4 liters) (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.
5. Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.
6. Add in the almonds and coconut and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate.
7. Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the add-ins evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency.
8. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
9. Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.

Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath

1. Remove dough from the fridge and let it rest for 2 hours in order to warm slightly.
2. Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.
3. Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.
4. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
5. Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.
6. Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.
7. Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
8. Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.
9. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
10. Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
11. Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot. Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter. Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.

Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh.
When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.
Happy Eating!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Black and White Chocolate Cake

Latif celebrated his birthday on the 18th and this was a great day for me as I got to try a new cake recipe! (I think I was more excited than he was). I had been wanting to make this cake for a long time but couldn't justify the effort and time involved. But when his birthday came I knew exactly what I was going to make. This recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. Though I don't have the book, the recipe is on a lot of blogs thanks to the group Tuesdays With Dorie (TWD).

I absolutely loved this cake. The dark chocolate cream is amazing and I could just eat it by the spoonful. The whole thing was actually very easy to make as I prepared the various components one day and assembled the whole thing the next day. I halved the entire recipe and made a 7 inch cake (I didn't have a 6 inch pan) Next time I will make the whole thing as it is a great cake. Check Brown Eyed Baker for the full recipe and baking instructions.

Be extra careful while whipping the white chocolate cream as even a little too much can cause it to spoil. I read a lot of blogs before attempting this so I knew exactly when to stop and got perfect results. However, after sitting in the fridge my whipped cream became a little too thick and so I thinned it a little by adding more heavy cream and stirring gently with a spatula. Use good quality chocolate here (I used Lindt) as it does make a difference in the taste.

Ingredients - Makes One 6 Inch Cake - Serves 5-6.

For The Cake
1 Cup Cake Flour - Used 3/4 Cup All purpose flour + 2 Tbsp Cornflour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Baking Soda
1/8 Tsp Salt
1/2 Stick Plus 2 Tbsp (5 Tbsp) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Large Eggs (To get half an egg, Crack open the egg in a small measuring cup and whisk with a fork. Check the quantity and take exactly half of it) 
1/2 of a Large Egg Yolk
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence
6 Tbsp Buttermilk - Used the milk and lemon juice substitute

For the Dark Chocolate Cream
1 Cup Whole Milk
2 Large Egg Yolks
3 Tbsp Sugar - Used 5 Tbsp
1 1/2 Tbsp Cornflour/Cornstarch, Sifted
1/8 Tsp Salt
3.5 ounces (99.2 Gms) Bittersweet Chocolate, Melted
1 1/4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Cut into 5 pieces, at room temperature

For The White Chocolate Whipped Cream
3 ounces (85 Gms) Premium-quality White Chocolate (Such as Valrhona Ivoire or Guittard), finely chopped
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
Chocolate shavings or curls, dark or white or a combination, for decoration (optional)

Getting Ready
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 6-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

Make the Cake
1. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.
3. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.
4. Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled.
5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then unmold, remove the paper and invert to cool to room temperature right side up on the rack.

Make the Dark Chocolate Cream
1. Bring the milk to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, cornstarch and salt until thick and well blended.
3. Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about 2 Tbsp of the hot milk - this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle - then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (make sure to get into the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. Whisk in the melted chocolate, and let stand for 5 minutes. Then whisk in the pieces of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the chocolate cream is smooth and silky. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the cream until chilled, or for up to 3 days. Or, if you want to cool the cream quickly, put the bowl with the cream into a large bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir the cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.

Make the White Chocolate Whipped Cream
1. Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and put the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir frequently to melt the chocolate evenly. Meanwhile, bring 1/4 cup of the heavy cream to a boil. When the white chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the pan. Pour the hot cream into the melted chocolate and let it sit for a minute. Using a small spatula, stir the chocolate gently until it is smooth. Let it sit on the counter until it reaches room temperature - it can't be the least bit warm when you add it to the whipped cream.
2. Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream only until it holds the softest peaks. Turn the machine to high, add the cooled white chocolate all at once and continue to beat until the whipped cream holds firm peaks. Turn the whipped cream into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap gently against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 6 hours. (Beat the whipped cream just until it holds stiff peaks, the slightest over beating will cause it to separate)

Assemble the Cake
1. If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. Slice each layer horizontally in half. Place one layer cut side down on a cardboard cake round or on a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper.
2. Remove the dark and white chocolate creams from the refrigerator and whisk each of them vigorously to loosen and smooth them. With a long metal icing spatula, spread enough dark chocolate cream (about 1/2 cup) over the cake layer to cover it completely. Top the cream with another cake layer, cut side up, and cover this layer with white chocolate whipped cream, making the white layer about the same thickness as the dark layer. Cover with a third layer, cut side up, and cover with another cup or so of the dark chocolate cream. (You'll have some dark chocolate cream left over - I used mine for piping happy b'day on the cake) Top with the final layer of cake, cut side down, and frost the sides and top with the remaining white chocolate whipped cream. If you'd like to decorate the top with chocolate shavings or curls, do it now.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Remove the cake from the fridge about 20 minutes before serving. Use a serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to cut it.

While both the dark chocolate cream and white chocolate cream can be made ahead and kept tightly covered in the refrigerator, once assembled, the cake is best after about 3 hours in the fridge. However, it can be refrigerated overnight - just cover it loosely and keep it away from foods with strong odors.

Happy Eating!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Moist Red Velvet Cupcakes

Annie's Eats is one of my go to sites for all baking recipes and when I wanted to try a red velvet cake that is the first place I turned to. And sure enough I was not disappointed because this cake is wonderfully moist and delicious. Never having tasted red velvet before, I was curious as to what it would taste like. Well, I guess it just tastes like very good cake. I know, that is not a good answer but really if you close your eyes and eat it, you will feel like you are eating a very nice yellow cake.

The recipe is extremely simple to make and takes very little time to come together. I mixed everything in a glass bowl with a fork (yes, that's right!) and made mini cupcakes. My frosting however turned out very runny and even though I could have added more sugar to make it thicker but I didn't want to as it would have made it too sweet.

Recipe Source - Originally from Apple a Day, Via Annie's Eats

Ingredients - Makes 24 Cupcakes

For The Cake
2 1/2 Cups Cake Flour - I made my own using the ratio given below
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp Salt
2 Large Eggs
1 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Buttermilk - I used 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice mixed with enough milk to make one cup.
2 Tbsp Liquid  Red Food Colouring
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
1 Tsp Distilled White Vinegar
For The Frosting
226 Gms (8 oz.) Cream Cheese
5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
2 Tsp Vanilla Essence
2 1/2 Cups Confectioners Sugar (Sifted)

Note - To make one cup of cake flour, sift 3/4 cup all purpose flour and add 2 Tbsp Cornflour (Cornstarch in U.S). Thus, 1 Cup Cake Flour = 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour + 2 Tbsp Cornflour

1. Preheat the oven to 175 Degree C (350° F). Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Whisk the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt and keep aside.
2. Combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine all ingredients. 
3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make The Frosting
Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Happy Eating!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chocolate and Pecan Pie Bars

Every year as Thanksgiving and Christmas rolls in, I start seeing recipes for all the different types of pies like pumpkin, pecan, cranberry etc on the net. Coming from India, I have never tasted any of these pies and my only experience to making them is of the humble apple pie. But that doesn't stop me from drooling at all the gorgeous pictures on various blogs and this year is no different. I love nuts and think that a pecan pie would be amazing. But when I read about it one thing that I figured is that some people think that it's too sweet. Hmmm, I don't like my desserts too sweet, so when I came accross these bars that resemble the pie taste I was happy to try them.

I halved the original recipe from Brown Eyed Baker and loved them. Seriously, I think I ate half the pan by myself. Next time tough I might increase the crust ratio and reduce the chocolate chips. I also reduced the sugar and used Golden Syrup instead of corn syrup. This was sweet enough for me and a perfect little snack when the craving sets in!

Recipe Source - Given as is from Brown Eyed Baker (my changes in red)


For the Crust

1 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 Cup (1 stick) Butter, Softened
1/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

For The Filling
3 Large Eggs
3/4 Cup Corn Syrup - I used Lyle's Golden Syrup
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar -  I used 6 Tbsp
2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
13/4 Cups Coarsely Chopped Semisweet or Bittersweet Chocolate - I used chocolate chips
11/2 Cups Chopped Pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
2. For the crust, mix together the flour, butter and brown sugar until crumbly. Press into the baking pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown.
3. For the filling, beat the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla extract with a wire whisk. Stir in the chunks and pecans. Pour evenly over the baked crust and bake for 25-30 minutes or until set.
4. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cool completely and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the refrigerator if you live in a warm/humid area with no air conditioning).
Happy Eating!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Prawn Biryani

My husbands love for prawns is well documented here and it should not come as a surprise to you that we got 3 kg's of fabulous prawns from the fish market (my first trip there in two years mind you) last week. I decided to make a prawn biryani from one batch and made this quick and easy version. It is very simple to make and is a nice dish to serve to guests as well.

Recipe - From Everybunny Loves Food

Ingredients - Serves 6

1 Kg Medium Sized Prawns (Weighed with the shell)
2 Large Potatoes (Peeled and Cut in 8 Pieces each)

For the Marinade*
2 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Red Chili Powder
1 Tsp Coriander Seeds Powder (Dhanya Powder)
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
Salt To Taste
1 Cup Yogurt
For the Masala
4 Cups Finely Chopped Onions
2 Cups Chopped Tomatoes
2 Green Chilies (Slit Vertically Halfway)
1/2 Cup Cooking Oil
For The Rice
6 Cups Basmati Rice
4 Cardamom Pods (Elaichi)
1 Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini)
2 Bay Leaves (Tej patta)
4 Cloves (Lavang)
Salt To Taste
For The Garnish
1/2 Cup Fried Onions (Sliced And Deep Fried)
Coriander Leaves (As Needed) (Hara dhanya)
Mint Leaves (As Needed) (Pudina)
1/4 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
1/4 Cup Milk
Food Color (Yellow, Red or Orange)
Saffron Strands (Zaffran)
1 Tbsp Ghee

*Note on ingredient quantities - The quantities given are what we prefer at home. You must taste and adjust the quantities as per your personal preferences. Add a little at a time. Taste  and add more spice, salt or lemon accordingly.
Prep Work
Wash, shell and de-vein the prawns. Clean thoroughly with water and drain. Mix all the marinate ingredients in a bowl and marinate the prawns for an hour.
Wash and soak the rice.

Make the Masala
Heat the oil in a large bottomed pot over medium high heat and fry the potatoes till done. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside. Add the onions  to the oil and fry till soft and brown in colour, turning the heat to low if needed to prevent burning. When the onions become brown, add the tomatoes and green chillies. Turn the heat to high again; Cook till the tomatoes are soft and oil separates. Add the marinated prawns and stir well. Cook till prawns are almost cooked. Turn off the heat.

Boil the Rice
In a separate pot, heat 6 cups of water; throw in the whole garam masalas and salt. Keep a wide colander ready in the sink to drain the rice. When the water comes to a boil, add the rice and let it cook on high, uncovered till the rice is almost done. It is very important to watch the rice closely at this point as we want it to be cooked but not completely. There should still be a bite to the grain and must not be easily squished between your fingers. Once the rice reaches this point, turn off the heat and drain the rice in the colander.

Assemble the Biryani
When the rice is boiling keep all the garnish ingredients ready near the stove. Wash and chop the coriander and mint leaves. Dissolve the saffron and food colour in the milk. We need a big bottomed and high pot for this. Place the pot on the stove, and spread half of the prawn masala in the bottom. Add half of the rice on this layer and repeat the prawn and rice layers once again.
Pour the colored milk on the rice evenly. Sprinkle the garam masala powder on the rice and place the ghee on top. Garnish with all the fried onions, coriander leaves and mint leaves.

Cover the pot with a tight lid to ensure no steam escapes from it. Keep the flame on high for a minute or two to ensure sufficient heat is generated in the pot. Turn the heat to low and keep cooking till steam starts forming on top and the rice is complete cooked. Serve hot with raita.

Happy Eating!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Checkerboard Cake - Without The Special Pans!

We had an amazing four day long weekend here in Dubai and we made good use of it by planning a trip to the water park and a fun barbecue the next day. I had so much fun playing in the water without a care in the world. As soon as winter rolls in out here everyone starts planning fun activities for the weekend because in summer it is impossible to go out in the day time. we have already had a lot of picnics and I am looking forward to more of them before winter is over. Another reason why I love the get togethers is because I am given the responsibility of bringing dessert. It's a win-win for me as I get to try out new recipes and not worry about eating it all on my own! 

For this picnic I decided to do a big four layer cake with a checkerboard pattern from inside. This was the first time I did a layer cake with frosting and I absolutely loved making it. I don't have the checkerboard pan so I googled an alternative way of doing it and found a great tutorial on Chef Doughty. It was very easy to make once I had the cakes baked and ready.

You basically need four layers with two different flavours or colours. You can use plain vanilla and just colour it with food colour to get two different colours. You then cut out rings in each layer and exchange the inner circles.

The cakes with the inner rings

Once you stack them up and cut you will get the checkerboard pattern. The only problem was that when cutting the different rings were not holding together and had to be cut separately. That didn't deter us from enjoying the cake though!
Stacked and ready to be frosted

I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe from Cupcake project and the vanilla came from a boxed mix (Sorry, pressed for time on a Friday morning!). For the frosting I used the Chocolate Whipped Cream recipe and it was really easy to ice the cake with it. I definitely recommend freezing the cakes before any cutting and assembling as the frozen cakes were a breeze to work with.

Recipe Source for Chocolate Cake - The Cupcake Project


3/4 Cup (75 Gms) Butter, Room Temperature
2 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
8 oz (Approx 200 Gms) Dark Chocolate, Melted
3 Large Eggs, Separated
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 3/4 Cup Milk

1. Preheat oven to 175 Degree C (350 Degree F). Grease and flour two 9 inch round pans.
2. In the large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Mix in the eggs.
3. Add the vanilla and chocolate. Mix well.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the butter/sugar mixture.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

To make the checkerboard cake - See the picture tutorial on Chef

1. Have ready four layers of cake with two layers each of a different colour.
2. Using two round templates and a sharp knife cut two inner circles in each layer. (See pictures above)
3. Exchange the middle layers of two different colours.
4. Place any one layer on a cardboard circle and frost the top lightly with icing. Place a second layer on this ensuring that the outermost colour is the opposite colour of the first layer.
5. Frost and repeat with remaining layers.
6. Give a crumb coat and keep in fridge for some time. Frost completely with desired icing and decorate.
Happy Eating!!