Thursday, June 28, 2012

Daring Bakers June 2012 - Battenberg Cake

Do you know the story about the Battle of Battenberg?

 The one where I was defeated by the evil marzipan?

Well, I had great dreams for my battenberg and everything was going smoothly until it was time to cover it with marzipan. You see, I was a little over ambitious and tried to make a cube with a zillion little pieces instead of the usual four. Needless to say I fell flat on my face (or rather the Battenberg fell) and all was lost. In the end I just took a quick pic with my iphone and proceeded to enjoy the spoils of war. Coz even though I lost the battle I got to eat my tasty oponent. Win Win!

Oh and I finally got my hands on some vanilla beans which were so cheap (0.80 paise) from India!!!! I used them in the cake and loved to see the little flecks of vanilla throughout the delicious cake.

Blog Checking Lines - 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.

Recipe - Makes one cake to serve 8.


3/4 Cup (1½ Sticks) 175gm / 6 oz Unsalted Butter, softened & cut in cubes
3/4 Cup / 175gm / 6 oz Caster Sugar
1 1/4 Cups / 175gm / 6 oz Self-Raising Flour (1 Cup All Purpose Flour + 11/2 Tsp Baking Powder + 1/4 Tsp Salt)
3 Large Eggs, room temp
1/2 Cup / 65gm/ 2 1/3 oz Ground Almonds (Can be substituted with ground rice)
3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Vanilla Bean
Red Food Colouring, paste, liquid or gel

To Finish
1/3 Cup (80 ml) 100gm /3 ½ oz Mixed Fruit Jam
1 cup / 225gm / 8 oz Marzipan, Natural

This is how I made the cake because I didnt have square pans, for the other method please check the Daring Bakers Website.

1. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/160°C Fan Assisted/Gas Mark 4
2. Grease two small loaf pans with butter.
3. Place the flour, sugar, ground almonds and baking powder in a bowl. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and remove the seeds by runnning the knife along the bean.
4. Add the vanilla, butter and eggs. Beat together just until the ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth
5. Divide the batter equally (I used my new digital weighing scale!!) and add a few drops of red color to one half to color it pink.
6. Spoon the pink batter into one loaf pan and the other half to the other pan.
7. Smooth the surface of the batter with a spatula, making sure batter is in each corner.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes 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)
9. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack
10. Once completely cool, trim the edges of the cake with a long serrated knife
11. 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
12. Gently heat the 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)
13. 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
14. Brush the top of the cake with apricot jam
15. Place the cake on the marzipan, jam side down
- Tip: Either in the middle or to the one side of the marzipan
16. Brush the remaining three sides with jam
17. 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
18. 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
19. 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.

Happy Eating!!