This is a real showstopper cake and not as difficult to make as it looks. Just allow plenty of time for chilling. I find this is best made the day before and left to set and mature.
Blueberry & Lemon Checkerboard Torte
For the Lemon Sponge
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1 tbsp warm water
- 100 + 75g caster sugar
- 1 lemon, grated rind and juice (about 3 tsp of rind and 3 tbsp of juice)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 120g plain flour
- 80g corn flour
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- 50g ground almonds
For the Berry Filling
- 9 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
- 500g frozen blueberries, defrosted
- 110g caster sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 250g Quark
- 600g double cream
- 1 gelatine leaf, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
- 200g double cream
- 1 – 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon curd (see basics)
- Some fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease and line four 23cm sandwich tins with baking parchment.
- To make the lemon sponge, in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the 100g of the sugar and water until pale and creamy.
- In a separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff then slowly add the sugar and beat until thick and glossy.
- Into another bowl, sift together the flour, corn flour and baking powder then stir in the almonds.
- Stir the lemon rind and juice into the egg yolk mixture then fold in a third of the egg whites until incorporated.
- Add the remaining egg whites and then the flour mixture. Gently but swiftly fold everything together until combined.
- Divide the mixture between the tins and bake in the preheated oven for 8 – 10 minutes until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Turn the cakes out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
- To make the blueberry filling, put the blueberries into a blender or use a hand blender and blend to a puree.
- Heat 3 tbsp of the puree in a microwave bowl, add the squeezed out gelatine and stir until smooth. Set the aside to cool.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the quark, caster sugar and the lemon juice. Stir the cooled gelatine mixture into the blueberry puree then add the cooled blueberry puree to the Quark and fold till incorporated.
- Beat the double cream to a soft peak and fold into the blueberry mixture until combined. Refrigerate until just beginning to set.
- To assemble the cake, cut one of the sponges in half horizontally.
- Place one half onto a serving plate (put the other half aside for later) and enclose in a close fitting cake ring.
- Using a checkerboard cake cutter or suitable rings cut each of the remaining cakes into 3 rings.
- Place one of the larger outer rings onto the base layer and a small ring into the center.
- Pipe or spoon the blueberry mousse between and level with the cake rings.
- Place a medium sized cake ring onto the blueberry mousse and fill in the outer and center space with blueberry mousse.
- Repeat until all the cake rings and mousse have been used up. Place the other half of the base sponge on top and refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours, better overnight.
- Remove the ring from the cake (I use a cook’s blowtorch to loosen the ring).
- Dissolve the squeezed out gelatine in a tablespoon of hot water and leave to cool.
- Beat the cream with the sugar until just beginning to thicken. With the beaters running on low slowly add the gelatine. Increase the speed and continue beating until stiff.
- Spread two thirds of the cream over and around the cake.
- Spoon the lemon curd into a food bag and snip of a small corner. Pipe a checkerboard pattern of lemon curd over the cake.
- Spoon the remaining cream into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice and pipe small to medium rosettes around the cake. Top with the fresh blueberries.
Note: I have used Dr. Oetker Diamond Leaf Gelatine. If you are using a different brand, please refer to the manufactures instructions.