Monday, 20 April 2015

Coffee and White Chocolate Checkerboard Cake (Wheat Free)

Fancy something a little bit more about the visual impact? Well, here we are....


Tada! A checkerboard inside! I was inspired to try a checkerboard cake as a practise run for a surprise that is coming up at the beginning of next month (keeping you in suspense), and I did a bit of researching on Pinterest and Google Images. A lot of recipes use a special concentric circle cake tin, but I just used a normal cake tin and cut out the circles with a variety of cups. This is only a little cake, so you'd have to cut around plates or bowls for a larger cake.


I was really pleased with the results, and the nice glaze coating was a nice touch too. I've found that it's best to thinly ice a cake before glazing, so the glaze is all smooth and consistent. I alternated coffee and vanilla flavoured sponge, and then used coffee and white chocolate icing. It was a success, both visually and taste-wise.

FREE FROM
☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Yeast
☑ Wheat
☑ Nuts

CONTAINS
☒ Eggs
☒ Dairy
☒ Gluten
☒ Refined sugar products

INGREDIMENTS
1 four inch (10 centimetre) layer cake

For the vanilla cake:
  • 1½ ounces (40 grammes) white spelt flour
  • ½ ounce (15 grammes) cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon (3 millilitres) baking power
  • 1½ ounces (40 grammes) caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) sunflower oil
  • 1 medium egg
  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) milk, or water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) vanilla essence, or the seeds of ½ a vanilla pod

For the coffee cake:
  • 1½ ounces (40 grammes) white spelt flour
  • ½ ounce (15 grammes) cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon (3 millilitres) baking power
  • 1½ ounces (40 grammes) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) instant espresso powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) sunflower oil
  • 1 medium egg
  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) strong coffee, cooled
For the white chocolate coffee glaze/icing:
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) caster sugar
  • 2 fluid ounces (60 millilitres) strong coffee
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) white chocolate, broken
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) vanilla essence
METHOD
To make the cakes:
  • Preheat oven 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mk.4). Grease a 4 inch (10 centimetre) round sandwich tin with a little butter or margarine. 
  • Prepare the vanilla cake recipe following this method, using a spoonful of the dry ingredients to dust the greased tin. Return the excess back to the bowl, then continue making the cake.
  • Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, until springy to the touch and a cocktail stick poked into the centre comes out clean.
  • While the cake is still warm, loosen from the tin and turn out onto a wire rack. Wash the tin, and grease again.
  • Prepare the coffee cake recipe following the same method, using a spoonful of the dry ingredients to dust the greased tin. Return the excess back to the bowl, then continue making the cake.
  • Bake as before, then turn out onto a wire rack in the same way. When the cakes are cool, cut off the domes, making sure the cakes are the same height.
  • Measure the cakes with a ruler, and slice in half horizontally. Look through your kitchen for cups, glasses, bottle lids or anything round that can be used for cutting. Choose one that is 2½ inches (6 centimetres) across, and one that is 1¼ inches (3 centimetres) across.
  • Cut each cake slice into rings using at first the larger cutter, then the smaller cutter. You'll have two concentric rings of cake and a little disk from each slice.
  • Arrange the slices so that each layer has an alternating pattern of vanilla and coffee cake, to make the checkerboard. Two layers should be going vanilla-coffee-vanilla, then the other two should be coffee-vanilla-coffee (You'll only be using three layers, so you can use the extra layer for something else or to snack on.)

Like this, then the other ones should be the inverse
  • To make this cake, I used two coffee-vanilla-coffee layers, and one vanilla-coffee-vanilla layer. If you look at the photographs you can see how I arranged them.

To make the glaze (which is also the glue):
  • In a saucepan, melt the sugar and coffee together on medium heat. Bring to the boil, and boil for a few seconds until the bubbles become a little less violent.
  • Remove from the heat, and stir in the broken chocolate, allowing the heat to melt it.
  • Return to the heat, reduced to low, and continue to stir until smooth and glossy.

To assemble the cake:
  • Put the bottom layer on plate and, using a little bit of the white chocolate mixture while it's still runny, spread a little bit round the inside of the circular holes in each ring so the cake fuses.
  • Spread some of the glaze on the top of the layer, and build the next layer. Repeat with the last layer.
  • Allow the rest of the glaze to set to a spreading consistency icing, then use some to make a thin crumb coat. Chill in the fridge until fully chilled, about 30 to 40 minutes, then allow to temper to room temperature for about 10 minutes.
  • Return the remaining icing to the heat and reheat until flowing again, but not hot. Put the cake on a wire rack with a plate underneath, and pour the glaze over, coaxing it over the edges with the back of a teaspoon. Use the back of the teaspoon to make a pattern on the top, and decorate with silver dragées if you like, or any other decoration.
  • Allow the glaze to stop dripping, then let sit for about 5 minutes afterwards. Transfer to a serving plate.
This sized cake is ideal for a two or three person celebration, and has the added cute factor. This was a successful trial run for my next checkerboard project coming soon....

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