Daring Bakers, June: Battenberg Cake
Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.
I didn't play with flavors since I love almond cake and plain marzipan as they are, but I tried to marble the colors in each color block--the bluish block is actually green and blue, and the reddish block has some yellow swirled through. This cake was just too small and the blue-green combo too subtle to show through, but the colors were fun nonetheless! You can snag the recipe off Mandy's blog, linked above.
You can kinda sorta see the marbling in the blue cake here.
I trimmed the cake to square it off better.
While the cake was cooling, I whipped the egg whites for the marzipan. It took a LOT of whipping, but it's worth the effort unless you like the taste of that store-bought stuff!
Stick the cake squares together with jam and roll the marzipan out to wrap around the cake.
Wrapping it up. I spread jam on the marzipan so it would stick to the cake. It was easier for me to place the cake on one end of the marzipan sheet and roll the cake up in it like a burrito than try to wrap the marzipan around the cake.
Trim the excess marzipan away, then slice off the sloppy ends so you have neat ends.
I thought the sloppy ends looked cute, too!
I sliced it up and made a batch of garbanzo bean blondies that I learned about from my pal Kat who got the recipe from Chocolate-Covered Katie. I was apprehensive about that recipe because I'd tried a few black bean brownies that promised I wouldn't be able to taste black bean, but I always good. In this case, though, while I could taste garbanzo in the batter, the flavor was well hidden by the peanut butter in the blondies.
Overall, I love the taste of this recipe, and it was a lot of fun to put together! It's a keeper for special occasions, and I plan to use the cake recipe for no-fuss desserts.
Check out my fellow DBers' projects through our blogroll!
¾ cup (1½ sticks) 175gm / 6 oz Unsalted Butter, softened & cut in cubes
¾ cup / 175gm / 6 oz Caster Sugar
1¼ cups / 175gm / 6 oz Self-Raising Flour (***see end of doc on how to make your own)
3 Large Eggs, room temp
½ cup / 65gm / 2 1/3 oz Ground Almonds (Can be substituted with ground rice)
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
Red Food Colouring, paste, liquid or gel
1/3 cup (80 ml) 100gm / 3 ½ oz Apricot Jam
225gm / 8 oz Marzipan, natural or yellow
- Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/160°C Fan Assisted/Gas Mark 4
- Grease an 8”/20cm square baking tin with butter
- Line the tin with parchment paper, creating a divide in the middle with the parchment (or foil)
- - Tip: See photos or watch video at end for detailed instructions
- OR Prepare Battenberg tin by brushing the tin with melted butter and flouring
- Whisk together the dry ingredients then combine with the wet ingredients in a large bowl and beat together just until the ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth
- Spoon half the mixture into the one side of the prepared baking tin
- Add a few drops of red food liquid/gel/paste to the remaining batter, stir until the colour is thoroughly distributed, add more colour if needed
- Spoon the pink batter into the other half of the prepared baking tin
- Smooth the surface of the batter with a spatula, making sure batter is in each corner
- Bake for 25-30mins until the cake is well risen, springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean (it should shrink away from the sides of the pan)
- Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack
- Once completely cool, trim the edges of the cake with a long serrated knife
- Cut each coloured sponge in half lengthways so that you are left with four long strips of sponge
- Neaten the strips and trim as necessary so that your checkered pattern is as neat and even as possible
- Gently heat the apricot jam and pass through a small sieve
- Brush warmed jam onto the strips of cake to stick the cake together in a checkered pattern (one yellow next to one pink. On top of that, one pink next to one yellow)
- - Tip: See photos for detailed instructions
- Dust a large flat surface with icing sugar then roll the marzipan in an oblong shape that is wide enough to cover the length of the cake and long enough to completely wrap the cake
- Brush the top of the cake with apricot jam
- Place the cake on the marzipan, jam side down
- - Tip: Either in the middle or to the one side of the marzipan
- Brush the remaining three sides with jam
- Press the marzipan around the cake, making sure the join is either neatly in the one corner, or will be underneath the cake once turned over
- - Tip: If you put the sponge to the one side of the marzipan, I found it easiest to "roll" the sponge over and over onto the marzipan instead of lifting the marzipan up onto the sponge
- Carefully flip the cake over so that the seam is under the cake and score the top of the cake with a knife, you can also crimp the top corners with your fingers to decorate
- Neaten the ends of the cake and remove excess marzipan by trimming off a small bit of cake on both ends to reveal the pattern