Battenburg

25 Mar

My goodness, I can’t believe I overlooked posting this recipe! A couple of months ago Pat challenged me to make something a bit different, and as I’d always wanted to try out a battenburg I thought I’d give it a go. It really isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, although my mathematical measurements weren’t entirely accurate after a glass or two of wine (*ahem*), so my trusty (very-good-with-problem-solving) housemate was on hand to make sure I measured out the right size of marzipan. Ha!

I used a standard square cake tin and made a divider using silver foil and greaseproof paper, with a little butter on the bottom to make sure it stuck. Take a bit of time getting this perfect, and it’ll make measuring out the cake that much easier later! You can pretty much use any standard sponge recipe, and add a few drops of pink food colouring to half of it.

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Recipe

  • 175g butter or margarine
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g SR flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • A few drops pink food colouring
  • 6-7 tbsp apricot jam
  • 500g marzipan

Preheat the oven to 180C (fan), and grease the square tin. Cut a strip of silver foil the same length as the tin, and fold it to make a vertical fold (check out my ‘how to prep a Christmas pudding’ pictures to get an idea) which stands up in the tin to divide it into two equal parts (make sure it’s as high as the tin edges!). Continue to line the rest of the tin with greaseproof paper.

Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk, then add the eggs one at a time with the vanilla essence. Fold in the sifted flour, and then place half the batter in one side of the prepared tin. Add a few drops of food colouring to the other half of the batter – it doesn’t need to be hugely dark, as the baking process will bring out the colour (and too much colouring will give your sponge a dodgy aftertaste). Place the pink batter into the other half of the tin, and bake in the preheated oven for around 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on them; they want to be spongy and light, not dry! Turn them out to cool on a wire rack.

Now for the fun part!

If the sponges are a bit dome shaped, I can’t recommend the use of a cake leveller enough. They are so easy to use and they ensure that the cakes are exactly the same height! If not, a sharp knife will do, just to make sure they’re pretty symmetrical. Divide each sponge rectangle into two equal long pieces. If you’re a bit of a perfectionist like me, you can get a ruler out just to make sure they’re all the same length/width.

Warm your jam in the microwave for a bit until it is nice and runny and sticky, and stick the four sponges together.

Roll out your marzipan (you can use a bit of icing sugar to make sure it doesn’t stick) into a rectangle, making sure that it will be long enough to go round the WHOLE cake. It doesn’t need to cover the ends. I ended up rolling mine quite thinly as Pat doesn’t like marzipan too much (and, err…I had nibbled through quite a bit of it by the time it came to assembly…).

Brush some of the left over jam onto the centre of the marzipan, and place your assembled sponge onto the jam. Continue to brush all of the sides of the cake with the jam, then carefully bring the marzipan up the sides of the cake, pressing gently to ensure it sticks, and make a join in the centre of the cake. Carefully flip the cake over so that the join is on the bottom. To tidy things up (aka have an excuse to sample the cake, obviously), trim off a slice from each end. You can crimp the sides a little by pinching between a thumb and finger to make it a little prettier.

Voila. Beautiful, impressive baking, which really isn’t too difficult – and is a lot of fun to make!

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2 Responses to “Battenburg”

  1. Stephanie March 26, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    It’s very pretty!

    • DrinksAndNibbles March 26, 2013 at 9:45 am #

      Thanks Stephanie! My next challenge is going to be making a giant battenburg I think…ha!

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