Cake That! Showstopper – Chess Cake with Chocolate Ganache Filling & Vanilla Meringue Frosting

In my Technical Challenge for Cake That! I came runner up. Since that was probably the best cake I’ve ever made, I knew I had to up my game for the showstopper. I came up with loads of different ideas, using various techniques, colours, tastes and layers but I wanted something that would show some more skill which is why I’ve gone for this cake. Once i’d set my mind to it, I was determined to pull it off. This cake has had a lot of learning curves, in fact I made the frosting three times this week before I deemed it edible and I have had to pretty much scrub my kitchen floor after dropping an icing bag filled with chocolate cake mix. Not to mention the fact I’ve had a terrible cold this week (which is why this has gone up slightly late, I’ve just been way too exhausted to even turn my laptop on!) It has been a real challenge, which I guess the showstopper is, but it’s definitely reminded me why I will never ever apply for the bake off, the pressure has been unreal and I have never cried over frosting until my second batch went wrong.. I don’t like frosting in the first place so I don’t know what possessed me to attempt meringue! But it’s finished and it looked good, which is what was important to me! I’ve also had the thumbs up from my main cake testers, Little Miss, my sister and her boyfriend.
In case you’re new to my blog back in August I was invited to take part in Best British Bloggers & Euphorium Bakery‘s Cake That! A baking competition centered around the structure of one of my favourite tv shows The Great British Bake Off. For the final three months of this series I’d have to share three bakes.. a signature bake, a technical challenge and a showstopper. For my signature bake I went for my Double Chocolate Cake with Fresh Cream & Salted Caramel. My entry was chosen by past GBBO winner John Whaite as the winner!Next up was the technical challenge, I put my own spin on Euphorium Bakery’s Florid Fruit Cheesecake with my Raspberry Chocolate & Cheesecake which as I mentioned above earn a place as runner up. It has been a trying challenge, but I’m pleased with all three cakes i’ve came up with! This chess cake is actually based on one I found in my Great British Bake Off Showstoppers book, it only seemed right to pay homage to it. 
For the Cake
 350g Butter
350g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
6 Eggs
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
350g Self Raising Flour
Pinch of Salt
50g Cocoa Powder 
4 tbsp Milk

For the Ganache
 150g Dark Chocolate
150ml Double Cream

For the Frosting
6 Eggs Whites
400g Golden Caster Sugar
650g Unsalted Butter
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until it’s light and fluffy.
  3. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla extract and vegetable oil. 
  4. Sieve in the flour then using a hand mix (or if you’re lucky enough to own one, a kitchen aid.. I am being silently jealous of you now) combine until smooth. 
  5. Divide between two bowls. In one bowl sieve in the cocoa powder and add two of the tablespoons of milk. Then in the other bowl add the last two tablespoons of milk. 
  6. Spoon into two piping bags. 
  7. Pipe a ring of vanilla around a lined baking tin (I used 20inches), keeping to the edge. Then pipe a ring of chocolate in the inside of the vanilla ring. Continue with alternative rings. Then repeat in two more tins. 
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
  9. While the cake is baking, make the meringue frosting because this needs time to cool. 
  10. Place the egg whites and sugar into a bowl over a pan (as if you were going to melt chocolate). Heat while continuously stirring.
  11. Once it appears that the sugar has melted transfer into another bowl and mix on high speed for 5-10 minutes. The egg whites should start to form peaks. 
  12. On a medium to high speed add small pieces of butter followed by the vanilla. For a while it might look like it’s starting to split, but it does come back together and thicken to give you a smooth, shiny frosting. 
  13. Leave aside to cool for as long as possible. I ended up leaving it in the fridge over night so it was incredibly thick, but an hour or so should be okay. 
  14. Once the cakes are out the oven and cooling, make the ganache by heating the cream until it’s just about boiling, then pouring it over the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Leave this to cool as well as this will thicken it up and prevent it from running all over the cake. 
  15. When everything is sufficiently cooled, assemble and frost.

For decoration I used gold chocolate balls, but you could also shave chocolate on the top. I just had no chocolate left! I really hope this cake has demonstrated my skills as a baker, and despite it’s very simple appearance the inside is showstopper worthy!

 Little Miss seemed to think it was!
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