checkerboard chocolate cake

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I think this might be one of the prettiest cakes I’ve made in a long time – though my first birthday cake with the meringue is also vying for the spot. if you note the light difference in the photos, that’s basically how long it took me to make this. one night to make the layers, the next morning-afternoon to do prep work, and a late night to finish the frosting. don’t let me hear you say it’s not a big deal BECAUSE IT IS, but it is so satisfying when you cut into the cake, and you get this mix of dark and white cake all neatly stacked up. just look at that last photo – I am such a proud momma.

the components of this cake are a crumbly and moist chocolate cake, a buttery vanilla white cake, dark chocolate ganache as filling, and a horlicks-milk-chocolate ganache as frosting topped with quartered maltesers. how can that not be tasty? I also used my blow-torch all over the kitchen which made it ingredient shiny and melted the malteser-honeycomb a little.

the horlicks taste was brought out by the maltesers and provided depth of flavour, but you wouldn’t know it was there if you weren’t told. I took inspiration from the countless rainbow cakes floating about the webosphere, but I didn’t want to use food colouring and didn’t really want to try and make my own natural food colouring this time so I made the chocolate and white cakes – which was hassle since it meant make 2 layer cakes, but it was so worthwhile.

the trick to this cake? make your layers beforehand and this time don’t use the freezer because you want to be able to cut the cakes into rings in the morning. it’s alright if it dries out a little as you just need to trim the sides (you can see my bowl of trimmings) and those are always the chef’s prerogative (so tasty). take your time with it, and be prepared for a mess. but loads of fun!

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