Great British Bake Off: Learn to Bake
A great cake for a party – just add candles! The sponge is a quick all-in-one mix with half flavoured with cocoa, the other with vanilla. The mixtures are piped in stripes into sandwich tins.
Makes 1 Large Cake
© 2016 Linda Collister / Ebury Press · Reproduced with permission. · The Great British Bake-Off: Learn to Bake by Linda Collister (published by BBC Books, £18.99)
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You Will Need
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Put the soft butter and caster sugar into the mixing bowl. Add the eggs and flour. Beat everything together with the wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth and even in colour. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time so everything is thoroughly combined.
Divide the mixture in half. Scrape one portion into the medium bowl and stir in the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.
Next pipe a line of chocolate on each side of the white stripe, so the mixtures just touch. Then pipe a white stripe next to each choc stripe. Keep doing this until the tin is filled, then go back and fill in any gaps. With luck, you should get 4 stripes of each colour in each tin.
Place in the heated oven and bake for 20–25 minutes until the vanilla sponge stripes are golden. To test if the sponges are cooked, use the fingertip test; if necessary, bake for a few more minutes, then test again.
Set the tins on a heatproof surface and cool for 5 minutes, then turn out of the tins onto the wire rack. Peel off the lining paper and leave to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the soft butter into the washed mixing bowl. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl. Beat together using the washed wooden spoon, or electric mixer on low speed (to avoid a cloud of icing sugar), until very smooth and paler in colour.
Scrape half the filling into the washed medium bowl. Add the vanilla and 1 teaspoon of the milk and beat until smooth and creamy. Fill a piping bag in the same way as before.
Sift the cocoa into the rest of the filling, then add the remaining 2 teaspoons milk and mix well until evenly coloured and creamy. Fill the last piping bag.
Take a look at the 2 sponges (which are upside down on the wire rack). You want dramatic black and white stripes on top of the cake, so pick the sponge with the best-looking stripes for the top layer. Set the other sponge on a board or serving platter.
Snip the ends off the piping bags to make an opening 2cm across, then pipe stripes of icing over the bottom cake – in the same way as you did before. Set the other sponge gently on top. Store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days.
Use a medium spoon to drop alternate spoonfuls of the 2 mixtures into the tins in a
random dotty pattern. Bake and cool exactly as in the main recipe. Make up both the
vanilla and choc fillings and spoon in blobs rather than piping. Experiment with different edible food colourings – orange for tiger stripes or leopard spots.