Monday, August 27, 2012

Battenberg Cake

 

It’s my 4th blogiversary! I wanted to make something to celebrate and I’ve always wanted to make a Battenberg Cake so I decided to challenge myself! Besides, the Battenberg cake has the 4 pieces of cake that form a checkerboard, so that is fitting for the 4th anniversary of my blog. I found this recipe on BBC Good Food’s website and gave it a go.


For the Battenberg, you make two cakes, an almond cake and a vanilla cake tinted with pink food coloring. I’ve seen different variations where you bake the two cakes in the same pan, the batters divided with parchment paper. This recipe has you make 2 separate cakes; I chose to make them in the same pan so that I would have a better chance at cakes of equal sizes. Well, my pink cake was all domed and beautiful and the almond cake was kind of flat in the middle. They use the same method to mix so I don’t know why they were so different.

I used almonds with the skin for the ground almonds, so my almond cake didn’t have a super delicate texture. This cake is a little tricky to get all the pieces the same size. I had to do some trimming to get everything square, and it wasn’t perfectly square in the end. But that’s ok. It was my first try! I bought two packages of marzipan but you really only use about one total, so I have some marzipan left over to use another day. These cakes are really quite simple, and the different colors and the checkerboard pattern are more for show than for taste. Still, I was pretty happy with my cake and I look forward to all the recipes I will be trying in the coming years!

Battenberg Cake
6 ounces butter, room temperature
6 ounces sugar
5 ounces self-rising flour*
1.5 ounces ground almonds
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond extract

6 ounces butter, room temperature
6 ounces sugar
5 ounces self-rising flour
1.5 ounces ground almonds
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
Pink food color

1 cup apricot jam
Two 7 ounce packages marzipan
Powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment and spray with cooking spray.

Make the almond cake: put the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and almond extract in a large mixer bowl. Beat until the mix comes together smoothly. Spread the batter in the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan to a wire rack to finish cooling while you make the second cake.

Make the pink cake: reline the cake pan with parchment. Beat all the ingredients in a large mixer bowl until smooth. Spread in the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble, heat the jam until runny, then strain. Roughly measure the height of the cake, then cut 4 slices each the same width as the sponge height. Repeat with pink cake.

Take 2 almond slices and 2 pink slices and trim so they are all the same length. Roll out one marzipan piece on a surface lightly dusted with powdered sugar to just over 8 inches wide, then keep rolling lengthways until the marzipan is roughly ¼ inch thick. Brush the marzipan with apricot jam, then lay a pink and an almond slice side by side at one end of the marzipan, brushing jam in between to stick the cakes. Brush more jam on top of the cakes, then sandwich remaining 2 slices on top, alternating colors to give a checkerboard effect. Trim the marzipan to the length of the cakes.

Carefully lift up the marzipan and smooth over the cake with your hands, and crimp the marzipan to seal in the cake. Trim to make the ends neat. Assemble the second Battenberg with the remaining cake pieces.

Recipe from BBC Good Food

*I make my own self-rising flour by combining 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt.

1 comment:

Heather Lynne said...

Yours look beautiful! I finally attempted this cake a few months ago and was so please by how it turned out. Happy Blogiversary!