This was an interesting technical challenge, making the cake and the buttercream for this recipe was straight forward however, the hard part of this challenge was to cut the cake perfectly so that you get the checkerboard look. So if you try to make this cake, take your time while cutting the cake, it will be worth it.
100g Soften Baking Spread
100g Caster Sugar
100g Self-raising Flour
50g Ground Almonds
25g Chopped Walnuts
2 x Eggs
3 Tsp Milk
½ Tsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
½ Tsp Instant Coffee Powder
40g Soften Butter
100g Icing Sugar
½ Tsp Instant Coffee Powder
1 ½ Tsp Milk
5 x Walnuts
1. First pre heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3. In a large mixing bowl add the soften baking spread, caster sugar, eggs, self-raising flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Then mix until all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
2. Next divide the mixture into two into two bowls. In one bowl add the vanilla extract and 1 ½ teaspoons of milk. Then mix until the ingredients are incorporated.
3. For the remaining mixture, firstly dissolve the coffee powder with 1 ½ teaspoon of milk. Then add coffee liquid and chopped walnuts. Then mix so that the walnuts are evenly distributed.
4. Grease and line 20cm (8 inch) square tin. Then pour vanilla mixture in one half and the coffee and walnut mixture in the other half.
5. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes and leave the cake to cool.
6. While the cake is baking make the coffee buttercream. First dissolve the coffee powder with 1 ½ teaspoons of milk. Then in a large mixing bowl add the soften butter, icing sugar and coffee liquid. Mix until you get a smooth and spreadable.
7. Once the cake has cooled trim the crispy outer edges off the cooled cake with a serrated knife, then cut and trim if necessary into 4 equal strips. Lay one vanilla and one coffee-walnut strip next to each other, then use a little of the butter icing to stick them together.
8. Spread a bit more icing on the top. Stick the remaining two strips together with icing and place them on top to create a chequerboard effect. Then spread some more buttercream over the top of the cake.
9. Lightly dust a clean work surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan of it can over the cake. Lay the butter-iced side of the cake on the marzipan; positioning it so that when you lift up one long side, it perfectly covers one side of the cake (this way the join will be neatly in the corner).
10. Used the rest of the buttercream over the other 3 sides of the cake. Roll the cake over in the marzipan, pressing to neatly cover it, then brush the corner join lightly with water, pressing it to seal.
11. Turn the cake over so that the join is underneath. Trim a slim slice from each end of the cake to neaten and show off the chequerboard effect. Smooth the marzipan over with your hands so their warmth will give it a smooth finish.
12. Crimp the edges by pinching the marzipan between your thumb and first finger at a slight angle and at regular intervals. Finally stick the walnut pieces down the middle of the cake using the remaining buttercream.