Enjoy a slice of delicious Battenburg cake with a well earned cup of tea.
Cooking Time: 60 mins
- 200g very soft butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g self raising flour
- 100g ground almonds
- 1 level tsp baking powder
- 3 large free-range eggs
- A drop of red food colouring
- 4 tbsp of apricot jam for assembly
- Marzipan125g ground almonds
- 125g caster sugar
- 125g icing sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- A dessert spoon of brandy
Pre-heat an oven to 160 degrees/gas 3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, self raising flour, ground almonds, baking powder and eggs together for a minute or two until smooth. Spoon half the mixture into one half of the prepared tin, then add a drop or two of red food colouring to the remaining mixture – it should have a salmon pink colour. Spoon this into the other half of the tin. Using the back of a dessert spoon level the mixture, allowing a slight dip in the middle so the cakes will rise evenly. Bake the cakes in the pre- heated oven for 35-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean – if you don’t have a skewer a stick of spaghetti will work just as well.
Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then carefully turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
While the cake is cooling you can make the marzipan. Mix the ground almonds and sugars together in a bowl, then add the egg yolks and brandy and knead into a smooth paste. Don’t over work the paste as the almonds will release oil and make the paste oily. Wrap the paste in cling film and chill until ready to use.
To assemble the cake, first trim the tops of the cakes, if they are not even. Then warm the apricot jam in a small saucepan over a gentle heat. Generously brush the jam over the pink sponge and place the pale sponge on top. Sparingly trim the sides of the cake to barely take away the crust.
Cut the cake evenly down the centre lengthways – I admit I use a ruler to ensure my measurements are bang on centre – then turn one side of the cake upside down to give the chequered effect. Brush the two halves of the cake with apricot jam and sandwich together, then brush the top of the cake with the apricot jam.
Roll out the marzipan into a rectangle the length of the cake and wide enough to cover the cake. Invert the cake on to the marzipan and then brush the bottom and sides of the cake with the remainder of the apricot 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. Carefully turn the cake over so that the seam is under the cake and score the top of the cake with a knife. 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.
Enjoy a slice of delicious Battenberg cake with a well earned cup of tea.