Sunday, May 23, 2010

Making a Checkerboard Cake

I had very special guests this weekend that I was meeting for the first time and I wanted to make a dessert fitting for the occasion. I have been reorganizing my basement to make room for a pantry and I found my “checkerboard cake” kit…this gave me an idea. Considering I am now a bona fide patriot, being born in July, raised in Philadelphia, having just returned from Boston and, lest I forget to mention a proud, card-carrying member of the National Constitution Center, I thought that a red, white and blue confection would not only be appropriate, but expected…compulsory even. So, I set out to make a red, white and blue checkerboard cake.


If you’ve never made a checkerboard cake, the prospect seems daunting, but it is actually quite easy (I am using a cake mix – forgive me – but will make my own icing). Basically, it involves a different series of rings that, when arranged and layered properly, create the checkerboard pattern.

I have posted the basic instructions for making a Checkerboard Cake without using a Pampered Chef Kit on the "Recipe and Tips" page and here is the link to the "Pampered Chef" kit instructions:

How To Make A Checkerboard Cake
If you would like a kit, let me know...I know a consultant.

Considering my all-American status, I felt qualified to offer some patriotic spirits.... Yards Revolutionary Ale beer (Yards is a Philadelphia brewing company located on Delaware Avenue) and Bluecoat Gin and Tonics (Bluecoat Gin is made at Philadelphia Distilling in the East Falls section of Philadelphia). I also offered a favorite of my guests, Manhattans...even though the origin of this drink is, no doubt, New York based, home of two evil-empire baseball teams each of whom are deep rivals of the Phillies or the Red Sox.

For dinner I dished grilled chicken breast in a bourbon/apple marinade, risotto with asparagus, mixed green salad with mandarian oranges, pistaschios and goat cheese, and of course, the checkerboard cake for dessert (which was supposed to be red and blue inside but turned out teal and some unknown shade of orange...but you get the idea...guess I'll follow the instructions and use a white cake mix instead of a lemon cake mix the next time. Perhaps I should have paid better attention in grade school when they taught us about mixing colors to create other yellow and blue makes green?!?!?!

Despite the color calamity and my disappointment that my cake was not red, white and blue, we had a fabulous time....lovely people.

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