Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Checkerboard Cake


Go ahead - take a shot at me. I probably deserve it. I'm the world's biggest sucker for things that look "interesting" in my subjective opinion. While shopping at my local mega grocer, I happened upon this cake pan set.



Looks rather interesting doesn't it? Inside are 3 - 9" cake pans and a plastic divider ring (if you're handy you can make it yourself). Actor Boy is on his way to New York for a couple of months and he and the new girlfriend were coming over for brunch. By the way, the new girlfriend is very sweet and gets the mother's seal of approval (like it really matters what I think). She even helps in the clean up department and is totally not intimidated by our insane family. Baba even asked for her phone number in NYC..just in case we needed to reach Actor Boy. Poor dear - has no concept of email and facebook let alone cell phones.

I decided to follow the recipe on the Wilton box for this cake and went through each step to the letter.

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar (I cut this back by 2/3 cup)
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk
4 squares (4 oz) semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Chocolate buttercream icing

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Pray pans with vegetable pan spray (I used the Wilton's cake release)

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla; mix well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture alteratively with milk; mix well after each addition. Cocontinue beating 1 minute. Divide batter in half. Stir melted chocolate into half the batter and mix well.

Place batter dividing ring (you need to have this) into one prepared pan. The pans are 9"x1". Pour darker coloured batter in outer and center sections and lighter batter in the middle section. Fill sections half way.

Remove the ring from pan by carefully lifting straight up on handles. Rinse and completely dry the ring.

Place ring in second prepared pan and repeat what you did for the first pan. These two pans form your top and bottom layer of your checkerboard cake. Clean and dry your ring again and put into prepared pan. This time reverse - white layer on the outside, darker layer on the inside. Bake the 3 pans at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes.



Although the directions said 30-35 minutes, I took the cakes out before the 30 minute mark and they seemed a little overbaked to me.

Assembly

Position layer with chocolate cake on outside onto serving plate; spread top with chocolate icing. Position layer with yellow cake on the outside on top of this layer spreading top with icing. Position third cake on the top and ice the rest of the cake.



I don't know - kinda sorta resembles the box but not really. The icing - another story and a bottle of wine.

Verdict: I found the cake rather boring and indeed, it was a little overbaked. It wasn't really dry - but on the dry side and quite dense in texture. Would I make it again. I think so, but I'd have to find another recipe. I also don't think I was entirely exact in my 1/2 way measurement in each pan. Next time, I'll tweak it a little.

I suspect that Psychgrad will become the recipient of this cake pan set but not until she finds a house. StumbleUpon

24 comments:

Julia said...

Good for you for trying! I think your cake looks great. I remember when I was a kid, I used to read the Time-Life Cookbooks, and I was always impressed by this cake... though, i never tried it.

doggybloggy said...

I always love how this cake looks and the mystery surrounding its creation...well done!

Bellini Valli said...

It's always fun to experiment with differnet pans,etc. I still have the Christmas star pan set that when the cookies are put together they resemble a tree. U'll try anythuing once!!

Justin said...

i think it looks good too, but that's too bad about the taste/texture of the cake itself. but you can always find a better cake recipe and try it instead!

That Girl said...

I never buy fun toys like that because I never know how often I'll use them - instead I live vicariously through people like you with the guts to actually buy them! Although I am jonesing for corn on the cob corn cake molds and ice cream cone cupcake molds!

Amy said...

Fun! I think your version looks pretty close. I love stuff like this, but I never get that ambitious. I have WAY too many gadgets in my pantry that are...ahem...still in the packaging.

KennyT said...

Wow, this is amazing!!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

I think it looks beautiful Giz! I'd stick my fork in it!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

oh wow! that looks like rocket science to me....too bad it didn't turn out as expected...but it surely looked amazing!

Hopie said...

Well it does look cool! When we were in the US, I dragged D. through a kitchen store and stopped at pretty much EVERY ridiculous gadget to say "Hm, this would be so useful!" or "wow, that's cool!" Good thing there's a weight limit on those suitcases ;-) Still I managed to sneak in a few things...

Adam said...

So.... that's how they do that? Huh I never knew. I thought maybe some checkered elves did it or something. Pretty neat!

As another son with a caring mother, the seal of approval totally counts. I swear, if she passes the crazy family test, then I can totally oversee the hair in the sink or whatever :)

Gloria said...

Liz I think your cake look awesome, I love it, I never made a cake as this! I would try ..some day!! The cakes afraid me sometimes!! (je,je)
Im so classsic, but I have to try!
xoxoxoxo gloria

Grace said...

i TOTALLY think your cake looks like the box--i'm super-impressed! this is a recipe i've seen but never personally tackled, and i applaud you!

Princess of the Universe said...

I've made a checkerboard cake (sans pan) before and everyone thought it was the coolest thing ever.
I think the pan is a fun accessory, but not 100% necessary for the process....
xo

giz said...

Princess - I totally agree with you - it was a $20 toy that I think is pretty unnecessary to create the effect.

Elle said...

Have often wondered if that set would work. Still a pretty cool pattern, even if a bit more modern art than the cover of the box. You might want to try it with your favorite pound cake recipe before gifting it to your daughter.

Jamie said...

I love it! I bought the exact same pan set in NYC on my last trip and my cake looks just like yours! I mean, you gotta try it at least once, right?

http://lifesafeast.blogspot.com/2009/05/just-for-fun.html

Steph said...

It's always so tempting to buy new baking pans. I always have to run away from all the bundts before I start buying the roses, trains, pumpkins...

giz said...

Jamie - interesting - so maybe it's time to talk to Wilton and get them to show us the secret to the perfect picture on the box.

Cakelaw said...

This cake looks great! I have always wanted to ake a checkerboard cake but always been slightly (well, a lot!) scared of it.

noble pig said...

Yeah you wonder how they get it so perfect.....probably photoshop!

the ungourmet said...

I love checkerboard cake. So pretty! Sorry to hear it didn't turn out as well as you hoped. You'd never know it from the photos.

Joelen said...

How fun and great job!

kat said...

I think your version looks great, too bad it was boring

Share/Bookmark