I’ve seen hundreds of posts of people attempting the chequered layer cake, so as I’m baking a few cakes for an event I thought why not… What could possibly go wrong……
Three layers seemed adequate, I’ve seen some towering masterpieces that look incredible but leave me wondering how on earth you portion them up and not to mention how you’re meant to transport them!).
Now, what colours to use – I opted for blue, green and yellow. Mostly because I’d run out of red.
Finally, a recipe that would be big enough for three 8″ sandwich tins – Mary Berry never fails: Mary Berry’s Perfect Victoria Sandwich
Once I’d whipped up the cake batter I weighed it out into three bowls, about 8 and a half ounces each. Then added the colouring (Wilton and Dr Oetker), I found that the blue Wilton colour was spectacular, but had to keep adding more of the Dr Oetker green and yellow. I had expected this with the yellow since the batter was golden, but not the green.
Then into three lined cake tins and into the oven at 180c for 20 minutes then out to cool until ready to assemble. It was here I realised that I hadn’t weighed out the mix quite evenly, the blue sponge rising significantly more than the others (or was that the colouring again?!).
When cool, use two round biscuit cutters one about 5″ and one about 2″ to cut out circles from the middle of each sponge. Using a batch of buttercream icing (you can use cream cheese frosting), you then have to build the cake back together by applying a small amount of buttercream to the inside of the largest ring, pop in the next size down in a different colour, apply buttercream to the inside of that ring and then pop in the smallest ring in another colour. Then, apply a thin layer across the top, and place the next large ring on top of the first layer and repeat. Then finish with the remaining layer. It was at this point I felt grateful I hadn’t gone for the six layers.
And finally, use a frosting of your choice to decorate the whole of the outside of the cake – smoothing with a warm pallet knife for a clean finish.
As for mine? Well, in my haste to assemble shortly before heading to bed, I mixed up a couple of the colours and ended up with a not so chequered, chequered cake. But it still tastes like cake, and is a lesson learned!