Sunday, August 25

Chocolate Chess Cake

Do you like chocolate? Do you even love chocolate?
Would you say that you are a teeny, tiny fan of the cocoa bean?
Well then, today you are in for a treat!

Yes, hoorah!
There is delicious food porn back on the pages of my blog, and to commemorate this delicious occasion, I'm treating you all to a cake that is more than meets the eye.
If you like chocolate, today is definitely a good day for you!

It looks fairly simple at first glance, a mighty sized circle of pure chocolate indulgence. Dark chocolate ganache gently swirled to cover a soft, squidgy sponge, and delicate curls to crown everything off on top.
Yet, things aren't always what they seem as this is no ordinary chocolate cake.

Before long, you can't deny the temptation any longer.
Slowly, the knife plunges down to hit the cold slate serving slab, and gently, you ease the thick wedge of beautiful chocolate cake out...

...Only to find that this is no plain chocolate cake. Your eyes have been deceived as this is more than just any chocolate cake. 
This is a Chocolate Chess Cake!

Sadly no, I do not play chess.
But this snazzy hidden design of a chocolate/vanilla combo helps to create a cake with a bit more of a 'wow' impact, plus, would you think I was lying if I said that it was ridiculously simple?
In fact, anyone could make it, and it even made me cringe when I thought to myself, "Damn. How did I not think of this idea before?!"

So whilst indulging in a delicious triple layered chocolate checkered cake, (sandwiched with white chocolate ganache, coated in dark chocolate ganache, and sprinkled with some chocolate twirls...YUMMMM!!), you can gloat about how ridiculously simple it was to make whilst your friends reckon that you should be a contestant on the Great British Bake Off. (Which might I add, is literally the best hour of my whole week.)

(Plus, we found that it actually tastes better the day after it is made since the white chocolate ganache soaks into the cake for extra moistness!- SCORE!!)

To make your own Chocolate Chess Cake, you will need:

(For the sponge:)
- 350g unsalted butter, softened
- 350g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature & beaten together
- 350g self-raising flour
- A good pinch of salt (helps intensify the flavour!)
- 50g cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons milk

(For the White Chocolate Ganache:)

- 175g good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
- 125ml whipping or double cream
- 50g unsalted butter

(For the Dark Chocolate Ganache:)

- 300g dark chocolate
- 300ml whipping or double cream.

(Also- you need two piping bags with a 1.5cm plain nossel on each, 3 regular sandwich tins, and some dark chocolate to decorate.)

First of all, preheat your oven to 180C/160 fan and then grease & line three sandwich tins with baking parchment.
Put the butter into a cake mixer and beat until very creamy. Scrape down the sides, and gradually beat in the sugar.

Then slowly the vanilla extract...

Keep beating and scraping down the sides throughout, and it should turn out light and very fluffy in texture.

Gradually add the beaten eggs, a tablespoon at a time, and beat well after each addition. Before the last two tablespoons of egg are added, add one tablespoon of weighed flour with each to stop the mixture from curdling.

Next, sift in the remaining flour and salt and gently fold in using a large metal spoon or spatula until there are no longer any streaks or specks of flour.

If needed, add a drop of milk to loosen so that the mixture just gently 'drops' of the spoon if shaken.
Split the mixture in half and put the 'vanilla' bowl to one side.

Sift the cocoa powder into the other bowl of batter.

Then add two tablespoons of milk.

Stir it all up, and you have this delicious chocolatey batter!

Spoon both of the vanilla and chocolate batters into two separate piping bags, and now everything is ready to go!

Pipe a thick ring of vanilla batter around the outside of two of the sandwich tins.

Then a ring of chocolate.

And then continue on in until the whole tin is filled.
Then for the third tin, follow the same pattern, but start with chocolate on the outside. (A.K.A- You should have two tins of vanilla outer, and one chocolate.)

Use any left over batter to top up any of the rings that look a little bit smaller.
Slide these into the oven for 20-25 minutes until soft and springy at the touch.

Whilst the cakes are cooling completely, it is time to make the ganache!
It seems a bit daunting at first, but it is actually very simple, I swear.

Just finely break up the chocolate into a heat proof mixing bowl...
(One for dark chocolate, one for white.)

For the white chocolate ganache first, in a saucepan on a mid-high heat, warm 125ml whipping cream with 50g unsalted butter until it is very warm, but not boiling. (I found the best way was to pop my pinky finger in and it was ready when I could not keep it in the pan any longer.)

Next, slowly pour the warmed cream over the melted chocolate in a constant flow and leave for a few minutes.

Then when ready, very slowly stir the ganache until it is completely melted and smooth.
I found that the white chocolate was thinner than the dark, but if you let it cool completely, both should thicken well.

Follow the same instructions with the 300ml whipping cream and 300ml of dark chocolate for the chocolate ganache, and after cooling it should be thick, glossy, and smooth.

Once completely cool, place a cake with a vanilla outside ring upside down on your presenting plate before covering in some white chocolate ganache.

Sandwich with the chocolate outer cake, top with some more white chocolate ganache, and then crown with the final vanilla outer cake.

Leave to set for 5 or 10 minutes, and then using a spatula, slowly swirl on the dark chocolate ganache until the whole cake is covered.

Grate some chocolate over the top, or if you would like to make curls, pull a knife at the angle seen above over a block of chocolate.
Sprinkle over the top of the cake, and then everything is finished!
Allow the ganache to harden on top of the cake, and then plunge in the knife for a delicious treat!

Yummm... Pure, chocolate bliss.
The bikini season is almost over and it is a bank holiday weekend, so why not challenge yourself and indulge in this delicious bake?

Resist the temptation if you dare!

*Also- I'm going to try to create a bake each week to correspond with the Great British Bake Off. I thought that this would be a great way to widen my baking skills, plus- I just adore the show way, way too much!!*



  1. oh wow this looks so good! i've been planning on trying this for a while now but had never thought to use a piping bag - i was going to bake two separate sponges and that cut them. your way is much simpler - thank you x

    Saved by Cake

    1. It's such a clever short cut isn't it?!
      Happy baking Rebecca :) xx

  2. Oh, that ganache looks fantastic!

  3. This is one seriously mega cake!
    On a scale of 1-10 how excited are you that the GBBO is back? This could have been one of their chocolate cake entries, my favourite was the secret squirrel one!!
    Can't wait to meet up with you and Ibbs next week!
    Lottie xxx

    1. Probably 100. It literally makes my week!! If they are doing a series next year, I am definitely entering. I reckon that it would be the experience of a lifetime!
      Ahhh yes!!! Cambridge O'Clock :) xx

  4. Looks insanely delicious! Got to give this a try some time x

  5. That looks absolutely fantastic Emily! I bet it was a real sense of achievement afterwards. Also, love the British Bakeoff idea too. No soggy bottoms please!

    C x
    Cocktails and Caroline

    1. Thanks Caroline! Well I'm not going to lie, I was paranoid that I would somehow screw it up, but miraculously it worked out okay!
      Oh gosh no, soggy bottoms have no place in my kitchen! xx

  6. That is so cool Emily! I never knew that was the secret to making these chess cakes. So ingenious!

    Teffy { Teffys Perks Blog }


  7. This is amazing- can't believe I've never come across a chess cake before!Love the chocolate curls too, much more successful than my latest attempt at chocolate decorations.

    Truly Scrumptious blog

    1. Thanks Amy! It is pretty cool isn't it?! So innocent looking on the outside too! xx

  8. Emily, this cake looks amazing! It's such a clever idea :)

    Lucy x

  9. This looks so tasty!


  10. Love the idea of doing a bake day every week! I would, but I'm trying to be healthy at the moment and just know I'd eat it all!! Gorgeous cake!

    Katie <3

    1. Ahh.. See my addicition to baking means that I've become a feeder! I go to the gym a lot and feed out the cake a lot. Thus- the family and friends take the brunt of the calories, and I can bake scott free! WOOOO! xx (But I do eat a thick wedge for myself too!)

  11.'ve solved all life's woes in one deft chocolatey swoop.
    What an outstanding cake, I love it!
    Thanks for sharing Em, your foodie posts ALWAYS hit the spot!!!

    xx Em

  12. Amazing! You made it look so easy! :D

    1. Well, I hope my instructions make it a bit easier! Most baking is very simple if everything is very clear (but it never is in cook books to be honest!) xx

  13. This looks sooooo delicious! I'm so glad you explained how to do the cool pattern, when I saw the photo of it at first it was incredible, I couldnt work out how to do it hahaxx

    1. Things aren't always what they seem after all!! xx

  14. This is incredible!! Would never have thought it was so 'easy' to make such a cake! On my list of things to try, along with your scones.

  15. Sooooo yummmmyy!!! I love chocolates!!!

    REAlity Bites

  16. Emily you're so very clever! Leave uni and start some incredible bakery. please. i beg of you. XXX

    This is literally the cleverest thing I have seen in a long time! Why do you even bother with lectures?!? Please just start up your bakery ASAP, and please can I come live nextdoor?
    Perfect, that's a deal then
    x x x

    {The Lobster & Me}

  18. Hey, your cake looks amazing! I made this cake yesterday and it didnt go right :s
    I made the cake and added the white ganache and left it out all night.
    Today when i went to check the cake, the sponge has gone hard and it looks abit stale :s
    Im still gonna add chocolate ganche but I am worried it wont taste nice :s
    What did i do wrong?
    Layla xx


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