Chequerboard wafer cake

Recipe may contain gluten, tree nuts, milk, egg and wheat.

Tender sour-cream cake, creamy Swiss meringue buttercream and nostalgic wafer biscuits combine to create this whimsical pastel treat.

14 Ingredients

  • 375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 230g unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 430g (2 cups) caster sugar

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 250g sour cream

  • Pink gel or liquid food colouring, to tint

  • 2 x 175g packet creme wafer minis
  • buttercream

  • 5 egg whites

  • 270g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar

  • 340g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

6 Method Steps

  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan forced. Lightly grease two 7cm deep, 14 x 24cm (base size) loaf pans and line base and sides with baking paper, allowing the 2 long sides to overhang.

  • Step 2

    Sift the flour

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    (375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour), baking powder (1/2 tsp baking powder) and bicarb (1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda) into a bowl. Use electric beaters to beat the butter (230g unsalted butter, at room temperature) and sugar (430g (2 cups) caster sugar) in a separate bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs (6 eggs), 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla (1 tbsp vanilla extract) and beat until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream (250g sour cream), until just combined.

  • Step 3

    Pour half the cake mixture into 1 prepared pan. Smooth the top. Add a little food colouring (Pink gel or liquid food colouring, to tint) to tint the remaining cake mixture pink then pour into the remaining pan. Smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside in the pans for 10 minutes to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Step 4

    To make the buttercream, use a balloon whisk to combine the egg whites (5 egg whites) and sugar (270g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar) in a large heatproof bowl. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Cook, stirring often with the whisk, for 3-5 minutes or until hot to the touch (to test, transfer a small amount to a saucer and if mixture is hot, it is ready). Remove bowl from heat and transfer mixture to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (you can also use electric beaters). Whisk on high speed for 10 minutes or until almost room temperature. Switch to paddle attachment. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add the butter (340g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature), beating well after each addition, until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla (2 tsp vanilla extract) and a pinch of salt. Beat until well combined. Transfer 1 cupful of the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain round nozzle.

  • Step 5

    Use a large serrated knife to trim and level the top of each cake. Cut each cake in half horizontally. Layer alternate slices of pink and vanilla cake on top of each other, using a little of the buttercream between each layer to adhere. Use the knife to level the sides of the cake if necessary. Evenly slice the cake lengthways into four long pieces.

  • Step 6

    To assemble, spread a little buttercream into the centre of a serving plate or cake board. Lay a slice of cake flat and cover with a little buttercream. Layer with the remaining cake slices, taking care to alternate the colours to form a chequerboard and covering each layer with a thin layer of buttercream. Spread remaining buttercream over the top and sides of cake. Use an offset palette knife or cake scraper to smooth the sides and top. Pipe peaks of the reserved buttercream over the top of the cake in rows to cover. Arrange wafers (2 x 175g packet creme wafer minis) in a chequerboard pattern over the top of the buttercream peaks.
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Image by Brett Stevens

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