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.
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!
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 Doughty.com
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.