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
<i><b>The Great British Bake Off: Learn to Bake</b></i> will bring baking to the heart of the family -- the parents, grandparents and children who watch <i>The Great British Bake Off</i>, but may never have baked before. <br><br>And it's a great way for the family to spend time together -- doing something fun, creative, learning a new skill -- and you'll end up with something delicious that you've all made together. <br><br>Learn how to make scones together, step-by-step, and then each choose your own way to customise them. See who can make the most tempting scones -- will the rest of the family choose the cheese or chorizo version that mum made, or the sweet cocoa and dried cherry scone that your brother chose. And if it's pouring with rain outside, you can easily spend a few happy hou...© 2014 Linda Collister / Ebury Press · Reproduced with permission. · The Great British Bake-Off: Learn to Bake by Linda Collister (published by BBC Books, £18.99)
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.
Fold down the top quarter of one of the piping bags. Scrape the vanilla cake mixture into the bag. Unfold the top quarter and twist the bag at the top to prevent the mixture from escaping. Leave the bag standing in a mug while you make up the choc mixture.
Add the cocoa and the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons milk to the rest of the cake mixture and beat in well. Fill another piping bag with this mixture.
Now you are ready to start piping! Snip the tip off each bag to make an opening 2.5cm across.
Twist the top of the bag of white vanilla mix to force the mixture down to the end. With one hand, hold the bag upright over one of the prepared tins; use the other hand to squeeze the bag and pipe a stripe of mixture straight down the centre of the tin. Do the same thing in the other tin.
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.