Obviously, I immediately tweeted Deidre to say that we should try and make a chequerboard cake. Yesterday, on our tenth Dessert Day (eleven, if you include our macaron making course), we did just that. It was equal parts terrifying and incredible.
We didn't use the recipe listed on the Great Australian Bake-Off website, because it requires you to make four cakes, and that seemed like way too much effort. Instead, we used this recipe, with a few minor changes. Instead of making it green and gold, we added a couple of tablespoons of cocoa to one half of the cake batter, and the zest of two oranges and a little bit of food colouring to the other. We made two cakes and split them in half instead of the four individual cakes the recipe suggests. And we made a truckload of dark chocolate ganache instead of the white chocolate and Milo ganaches recommended in the recipe.
But who cares about the baking part? It's the assembly that's where the fun/terror starts!!
I think we were most impressed about the fact that we managed to cut the cakes and get the outer most layer in place without breaking it!
The real fun came with smothering it in a million layers of ganache:
Finally, we got to the real test - would it hold together when we cut it, or would it all fall apart in a heap?
There may have been some dancing around the kitchen when it actually worked. Sure, our layers may not be perfectly lined up in all cases, and they're not exactly even. But considering it was our first attempt at such a thing, I think we did a pretty good job of it!
AND it was completely delicious. The chocolate cake wasn't particularly chocolate-y tasting (we didn't add as much cocoa as would normally be in a chocolate cake because we were afraid of the mixture being too thick), but the mountains of ganache involved meant that it didn't really make a difference! The orange flavour really shone through though.
We also hit up the savoury side of baking, with this cauliflower pizza crust. And it was actually not as weird/gross as I would have thought. Although there is a terrifying amount of cheese in it. We cut right back on both the cheeses, so it was more like 1/3 cup of each rather than 1/2 cup. And we decided in the end that you could probably use two cups of cauliflower to the same amount of cheese and end up with much the same result.
In summary: it was tasty, but I'm not sure I'd call it pizza crust. It was more like some kind of quiche-y, frittata-y thing, and I think it was only the herbs (we didn't have Italian seasoning, so used a mixture of basil, oregano and mixed herbs instead) that made it seem pizza-y.
That said, it was naturally gluten free, and really easy to make, so I'm still putting it in the win column!
What challenges have you accepted lately?