Mocha Chequerboard Cake

Mocha Chequerboard Cake

SERVES 12 PREP 1 hour COOK 1 hour 15 minutes + 2 hours 10 minutes to cool COST $1.90 a serve

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee
granules, plus 2 tablespoons extra
⅔ cup milk, warmed,
plus ⅔ cup extra
250g butter, at room temperature,
plus 250g extra
1 cup caster sugar, plus 1 cup extra
1 teaspoon vanilla essence,
plus 1 teaspoon extra
3 eggs, at room temperature,
plus 3 extra
2⅔ cups self-raising flour,
plus 2 cups extra
½ cup dark cocoa powder, sifted
300g dark eating chocolate,
broken into pieces
1 cup thickened cream
1 cup strawberry jam, warmed,
sieved

METHOD

1 Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.  Grease two 20cm (base measurement)  round cake pans. Line bases with baking  paper. Stir coffee and milk in a jug until  coffee dissolves. Cool.

2 Using an electric mixer, beat butter,  sugar and essence in a medium bowl  until light and creamy. Add eggs, one by  one, beating lightly after each addition.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the sifted flour and coffee mixture in two  batches until combined. Divide mixture  evenly between prepared pans. Bake for  35 minutes or until a skewer inserted at  centre comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans  for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to  cool completely. Repeat process with extra ingredients, adding cocoa powder to flour.

3 Meanwhile, stir chocolate and cream in  a saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes or until melted and smooth. Transfer to  a heatproof bowl. Stand for 2 hours,  stirring occasionally, or until spreadable.

4 Trim tops off cakes to make even layers.  Using a 13cm plate as a guide, cut a  13cm circle out of the centre of each cake.  Using a 6.5cm cookie cutter, cut a circle  out of the centre of each 13cm piece of
cake. Brush inside edge of each cake ring  with some of the jam, then reassemble  cakes using opposite coloured cake pieces.

5 Using a large egg lifter, transfer one  of the cake layers onto a serving plate.  Brush top of cake with some of the  remaining jam. Top with an opposite  coloured cake layer and brush with more  jam. Repeat layering, using remaining  cake layers and remaining jam.

6 Spread cake with chocolate mixture.  Stand for 30 minutes. Serve

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