Chess Cake


Ok, its not perfect, but I recon its not bad for the first attempt....



We hosted our Annual Burns Supper supperclub at the weekend. We had 17 guests joining us for dinner and 11 of them are French. They wanted to taste 'THE Haggis' ..... The French guests were coming along to celebrate the head of the family's birthday (60th) and as such I was been asked to create a birthday cake for the end of the meal.

I was of course happy to oblige (any excuse for me to bake).

I had a look through a couple of my recipe books and a look on the internet, and I decided on a Chess cake, 'if it works, it will look amazing, I just need to make sure it tastes amazing too'.

This recipe comes from 'The Great British Bake Off, how to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers'. I of course have made a few tweaks and changes for this cake, (details below), that's what its all about as far as I am concerned...... experimenting...

Lets begin.

On the outset this looks a difficult/complicated cake to make, but once you realise that it is only 3 sponge cakes that you need to make and then the filling and icing, it should take away some of the panic....

So 3 layers of sponge cake, I decided on dark chocolate and orange cakes. (Just a little twist on things)


3 x 23.5 sandwich tins, buttered and lined with baking paper

2 x piping bags with 1.5 cm plain tube, if you don't have piping bags and/or tubes, you can put the mixture into large food bags and cut the point off when you are ready to use them, just make sure they are the same size of opening.


Sponge mixtures

410g unsalted butter, softened

410g caster sugar

410g self raising flour


6 large eggs, at room temperature and beaten


1 teaspoon Orange extract


5 tbsp milk


50g cocoa powder (for the chocolate mix)


Dark Chocolate Ganache

 350g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped


350ml whipping cream


Orange Butter Icing (variation on the original recipe)

 125g unsalted butter, softened


400g icing sugar


3-4 tbsp milk


1 tsp Orange extract


To make the sponge cakes,


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.

 Weigh your mixing bowl before you start, you need this when you need to split the mixture into separate bowls. Put the butter into a large mixing bowl and using an electric hand whisk, start to whisk until the butter is thick and creamy. Gradually add in the sugar and orange extract. Keep beating until the mixture is lighter in colour and a nice fluffy texture.


Gradually add the eggs a tablespoon at a time, and ensure it is completely combined before adding the next tablespoon. Add a tablespoon of flour after each tablespoon of egg to ensure the mixture doesn't curdle. If it looks like it is going to curdle, add more flour and just mix in, it will all come together.

 Sift in the remaining flour and salt into the bowl and fold in the flour, ensuring all the flour is incorporated into the butter egg mixture.


Take half of the mixture (measure it out, weigh the total weight of your bowl with the mixture and subtract the weight of your bowl) and place in another mixing bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder and add 3 tablespoons of milk, and fold into the sponge mix until all combined. Place this into one of the piping/food bags.


Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk to the plain sponge mix and fold in until all combined.  Place into the other piping/food bag.




(sorry I forgot to take a picture before I placed the filled cake tins in the oven)

 Take the sponge tins, pipe a ring of chocolate mixture around the inside edge of one tin, completing a full circle. Then pipe a ring of the orange mixture inside the chocolate ring and continue until the tin is full. Repeat this process for the second tin. For the third tin, start the outer edge with the orange mixture and then the chocolate mixture, so you have the opposite of the first two tins.


Bake in the oven for 20 mins until well risen and springs back to the touch. Check with a wooden toothpick to ensure there are no wet crumbs on the stick. Take the sponges out of the tins and leave on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Recent Posts by SecretGarden-France


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.