A Battenberg cake can seem a lot of effort but the end results are always impressive and it tastes so good too!
I was lucky enough to be given a Alan Silverwood Battenberg Cake Pan 8in x 6in for Christmas (I have a small obsession with all things baking!) and as I had some marzipan left over from Christmas, I have put it to good use and made my first Battenberg cake.
6oz soft butter or margarine
6oz golden caster sugar
6oz self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 free-range eggs
A few drops of red food colouring
About 3 tablespoons jam (I used apricot)
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 and prepare the tin. I have greased the tin all over and lined just the base with greaseproof paper.
Make the cake
First of all put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and cream together. Add the eggs, flour and baking powder and continue mixing until you have a smooth batter.
Now divide the mixture equally into 2 bowls, it works out to about 5 large tablespoons of mix for each bowl.
One of the bowls of mixture needs to be coloured pink so add a few drops of the red food colouring to one of them and stir gently until it is evenly coloured, we don’t want any streaks!
Divide the pink mix equally between two of the tin’s sections then do the same with the uncoloured mix. Keep them as even as possible so that the finished cakes will be of the same size.
Bake the cake for about 30 minutes or until you are sure it is cooked then leave in the tin to cool.
When the cake has cooled use a large serrated knife to trim of any cake that has risen above the top of the tin before turning the cakes out.
Assembling the cake
Now we have 2 pink cakes and 2 white cakes that just need to be stuck together with the jam. Spread some of the jam along one long edge of a white cake and join it to a pink cake, then do the same with the other 2 cakes.
Now spread more jam onto the top of one of the joined sections ready to place the other on top, making sure that you have got the chequered effect by placing the pink side over the white side.
Once the cake is assembled it is ready to cover with the marzipan.
Dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan so that it is as wide as the length of you cake. It will need to be rolled out long enough to enclose the cake completely so check that it is big enough before continuing.
When you are sure that the marzipan is the right size spread jam on one side of the cake and place the jam side down onto the marzipan a little way in from the edge then cover the rest of the cake with jam.
Fold the marzipan over the cake, pressing gently as you go to make it stick. If the marzipan is a little too big and overlaps at the join, trim the excess away for a neat finish.
The ends now look a little untidy so use you large serrated knife to trim off a slice at each end for a perfect looking Battenberg cake.
If you don’t have a special Battenberg cake tin you can easily make the dividers to fit your own cake tin from strips of foil, it’s a bit more effort and the end result not quite so neat so if you really love Battenberg cake, the Alan Silverwood Battenberg Cake Tin is a very good investment.
You can also ring the changes to this recipe by flavouring half the mixture with lemon or cocoa or anything else you may fancy.