November month is celebration month for us. I have my sisters wedding anniversary and my hubby`s birthday which comes up with just a difference of 5 days. So, what we usually do is we celebrate it together. It would be post the anniversary and pre for the birthday. Last year I made the Eggless chocolate cake with Mocha icing.This time I thought I should really do something different and with all those wonderful cooks that I meet out there, it really inspired me to try out something new.
With Pinterest being my new addiction, I searched for different varieties of cake and I landed upon this Checkerboard cake, which on seeing, I felt confident I could give a try. Since my oven is still under maintenance, I had only my microwave to rely on. So I finally thought, this would be what I would present them.
Since my hubby comes home only on weekends, all our celebrations are now on weekends. So last weekend was when we had this great bash. But to maintain the suspense, it was a tough task. With two kids in the house and buzzing around from morning in the kitchen, they just could not hold back the excitement. Somehow I managed till the cake came on the table !!! My daughter , many times was at the edge of giving out , when we changed the subject and she would get deviated and miss what she wanted to say.Whew!!!
It was really wonderful to see the surprise on their faces, when the cake was cut. It really made me feel so happy. For all the effort you put in, those smiles are the best rewards. Everybody enjoyed it. I feel there is room for more improvement, but then ; there is a first time for everything right??? lol…..
Checkerboard cake with Swiss Meringue
Swiss Meringue recipe adapted from here
Servings – 8-10 persons
For the Cake ( For both packs put together)
450 gms Pillsbury Vanilla Cake Mix
400 gms Pillsbury Chocolate Cake Mix
1 1/2 cups oil
2 1/2 cups water
For Swiss Meringue Butter cream
2 large egg whites
100 gms Sugar
170 gms Butter
For the Cake
. Prepare the cake batter as per the pack instructions with the mentioned ingredients. ( For 225 gms pack – mix the cake mix, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup oil and two eggs and first mix well till no lumps. The with a hand mixer, beat at medium for about two minutes till batter is smooth).
. Microwave the cake for 4 mins at high for Vanilla and for 3 mins at high for Chocolate.
. Make two to three layers for vanilla cake and about two layers for chocolate cake.
. Let them cool and then, turn over to a plate and allow to rest.
For the Meringue Butter cream
. Put the sugar and egg whites in a large heat proof vessel and double boil ( the steam should hit the upper pan) while you keep whisking continuously, till the sugar melts and the mixture is hot to touch.
. Pour the hot mixture to a bowl and keep the bowl in a water bath that has cool water. Beat the mixture till it forms a thick shiny meringue.
. Now add the butter cubes one at a time, beating till smooth and thick.
. Using a cutter or a sharp utensil ( I used a steel utensil), cut the cake into rings. You would get three rings from one cake. A large one, a medium one and a small one.
. With the vanilla cake at the outer end, insert the medium-sized chocolate cake next and finally again the small-sized vanilla cake. Repeat it alternatively with the chocolate cake. ( As shown above).
. Stack different layers of the prepared cake alternatively, applying the butter cream at each layer to keep them firm.
. Once the cake is assembled, apply the butter cream to the whole cake and refrigerate for about 2-3 hours.
Bring to room temperature, before cutting the cake and enjoy this wonderful creation that you have done.
Tips and Notes:
. The butter that you use for the butter cream, should not be too soft or too hard, just mild enough so that you could cut them to cubes.
. Do not use cold or ice water for the water bath for the butter cream. The water should just be cool like how you would have the tap water on a rainy day.
. Let the cakes cool completely, before you cut the rings.
. Be very gentle with the cake as there are chances that the cake could break.