Thursday, September 8, 2011

Check King Cake

I used to jump with joy when dad would bring this check king cake from Venus Bakery, Bandra.

I have been dreaming about baking this cake from a long time. I kept wondering how did the Venus guys manage to get 4 distinct squares. The cake never had a marble effect. Finally, last time when I was in India, I visited Venus and they had the last check king cake on the shelf. I grabbed it instantly and realized that they used icing to "glue" those 4 slabs.

Since Gudiya just loved this cake, I decided to bake it. I was happy to see the result. It did have a typical homey feel as I am not a baker. But I served it to Gudiya and exclaimed triumphantly - "From my childhood to yours....":-D

This is my interpretation -

Check King Cake
1 packet Betty Crocker Yellow or white Cake Mix
1 container of Betty Crocker vanilla icing

For Pink layer
2-3 drops of red food coloring
1 tbsp Nesquick Strawberry powder

For chocolate layer
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

For Green Layer
2-3 drops of green food coloring
2 -3 drops of pistachio extract (optional)

For Yellow Layer
2 -3 drops of yellow food coloring (Needed if you are using Betty Crocker's white cake mix)
2-3 drops of pineapple extract (optional)

1. Using oil, water and eggs as given on the back of the Betty Crocker cake mix, prepare the batter.
2. Divide the batter in four equal parts in four different containers.
3. Mix coloring, extract - if using, powder as given for each layer and prepare four batters.
4. Grease mini cake loaf pans. Pre-heat oven to 350 F
5. Prepare 4 separate cakes (Pink, Green, Chocolate and yellow). Bake per the directions.
6. Let the cakes cool down completely. Cut the top and side crusts to make the cake uniformly smooth from all sides. Now, cut it lengthwise to get 8 slabs (2 of each color)

7. Refrigerate for at least half an hour to make it firm. Crumble all the crusts that you have cut off and set aside.
8. Now, you have 2 rectangular pieces of yellow, green, pink and brown cakes each.  Now, spread icing on tops and sides of all eight slabs. Place pink slab next to green slab. Using icing as a glue, hold it together with pressure while taking care not to break it. Then, glue yellow and brown slab together with icing. Place yellow and brown slab on top of pink and green slab. Use icing on top and sides of the cake.

Below is the picture of my previous attempt of making this cake. I didn't cut the crusts properly and there wasn't enough icing between the slabs to hold them. I have shared this picture to give you an idea.
9. Use crust crumbs to cover the sides and tops of the cakes which has vanilla icing.
10. Refrigerate again for 1/2 hour.
11. Cut carefully into slices.
12. Enjoy!

Note -
1. You do not need the entire tub of ready made icing. I take out the necessary icing in a bowl and freeze the remaining in the tub.
2. If you have your own recipe for sponge cake and icing, you may use it to create this cake.

Venus Bakery
Near Mount Carmel Church
Bandra (W), Mumbai 400050

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