Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Checkboard Gateau with Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting

With my right wrist tightly gripped with a bandage which extends to embrace the thumb as well, I am unable to freely use the hand. I just hate it!  Once in a while I rip the bandage off when I feel very frustrated but put it back on with a hope of removing it once and for all soon. In such times of crisis, posts lying in Drafts come very handy.

When Ria posted her Checkboard Gateau, I was simply enthralled. I too love experimenting with techniques and she is an inspiration. I love twists and turns to the conventional way. When I’m caught by inhibitions before trying out something, I somehow catch Ria on FB. Her words of encouragement give the necessary thrust to go ahead. I made this cake over the weekend and used Chocolate Mascarpone frosting to cover the cake. In my excitement, I even gave it a chocolate lace border. The top was decorated with left over melted chocolate in the piping bag. The top looks more like a Rangoli now when I see in the pics. (Well, I am improving with each new cake)

For the vanilla sponge:
1/2c sugar
1/2 c flour minus 1 tbsp
1tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
1tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate sponge:
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 c flour minus 3 tbsp
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
1tsp vanilla extract

For Assembling:
1 portion soaking syrup (Dissolve 1 cup granulated sugar in 1 cup warm water.)
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped (I used whipped cream powder)

For Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting:
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup whipped cream
2 tbsp coco powder
Sugar to taste (I didn’t require sugar as I used whipping cream powder which already had sugar in it)
Vanilla essence – ½ tsp (optional)

Whip heavy cream till it forms firm peaks. I used whipping cream powder. It gave me very good results. Just make sure you use ice cold water while using whipped cream powder. It’s also recommended to freeze your beater blades before beating.
Gently fold in the rest of the ingredients. (Do not over beat as the mascarpone cheese might curdle)

For the sponge (Vanilla & Chocolate)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
2. Butter and flour/line a 8' round cake tin with parchment paper.
3. Sift the dry ingredients together. Reserve.
4. Beat the eggs and sugar together till mousse like and almost tripled in volume. This will take about 10-12 mins of beating on high using an electric beater. DO NOT skimp on this as we are not using any leavening agents (baking powder/baking soda). Otherwise the cake WILL NOT rise.
5. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixtures, carefully. The mixture will deflate a little, don't worry.
6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 28-30 mins or till the top is springy to touch and the skewer inserted comes out clean.
7. Cool in the tin for 10 mins and then invert it onto a rack and cool completely.

To make the checkerboard pattern:
Imagine a cake having 2 more concentric circles in it .Cut accordingly. I used a round my measuring cup for the innermost circle and a container lid the middle circle as the template. So now, you have 3 rings out of one cake. Similarly do the same with the second cake.

Now, interchange the middle ring. While you do so, be careful and try to spread some whipped cream/jam/ganache so that the rings sticks together. Now you will be left with two black and white cakes. Place one cake (with the interchanged rings) on the serving plate and soak it using half the soaking syrup. Spread some whipped cream over it and place the second cake over it. Spoon the remaining syrup over it.
Cover the sides and top with chocolate mascarpone frosting.

For the chocolate lace border:
Melt some chocolate and pour into a piping bag. Measure the height and circumference of your cake pan and cut parchment paper of the same size. Doodle pattern over the parchment paper using the piping bag. When the chocolate is almost about to set, wrap the cake with parchment paper lightly pressing the chocolate lace onto the cake. Keep in refrigerator for about 5 minutes and delicately peel off the parchment paper. It’s really very easy to do…

Serve the cake chilled

Note: My vanilla sponge had a thin portion which was a bit stiff, I dunno why! But on the whole, the cake won me a feather in my baking cap! Thanks Ria.

My li'l assistants at work. The best part is they remind me to click photos of food if I forget to.

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  1. They looks soo adorable..checkboard cake with beautiful frosting looks absolutely divine,beautiful work Seema..i dont have guts to try out checkboard cake till now, U & Ria are pulling me to try them soon..

  2. your daughters are really cute...cake looks perfectly baked and yum!

  3. Thanks for trying Seema,you have done a good job! :) Thanks for the sweet mention :) Always ready to help!

  4. Looks lovely Seema..kudos to your effort and eager enthusiasm..keep it up!!

  5. Luvly baking with girls...I jus remember my daughter how she helps the same and asks me to click...The cake has come out really well

  6. This is such a lovely cake! I so want to try it! I normally don't frost - knowing that most of the frosting will go into my tummy :) But this is so tempting!

    And your helpers are the cutest!!!!


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