Sunday, February 17, 2013

Battenburg Cake

One of my favourite British cakes is Battenburg cake which is a sort of variation on a Victoria sponge cake.

Battenburg cake is made of four sponge bars of which two are pink and the other two are yellow.  Four sponge bars are alternated in a checkerboard pattern and wrapped with marzipan.  It has a deliciously delicate scent of almonds.

Last Christmas I made a Christmassy version of Battenburg cake using two typical Christmas colours - red and green.  Rather than the classic 4 checkerboard pattern, I made the cake a little bit more complicated using sixteen sponge bars.

I wrapped my cake with cellophane sheet to add to the distinctive four by four pattern and gifted to one of my girlie friends.

The cake looked so pretty and tasted beautiful.  It surely was a tasty Christmas present for her!

Ingredients for 1 cake (6~8 people)
6 1/4 oz butter softened + extra for greasing
6 1/4 oz sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup self rising flour, sieved
few drops vanilla extract
1//4 teaspoon red food colouring
1/4 teaspoon green food colouring
some apricot jam
14oz ready made marzipan
powdered sugar for dusting

Grease and then line two 7 inch square cake tins with parchment paper.  Place a large mixing bowl on scales and weigh it.  Write down the weight of bowl in order not to forget.

Combine the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl and mix well until pale and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs to the butter mixture, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.

Carefully fold the flour into the mixture, then stir in vanilla extract.

Place the mixing bowl on scales again and subtract the net weight of bowl that you wrote down to find the weight of batter.  Transfer the exactly half weight of batter into another mixing bowl.

Stir in the red food colouring to one of the mixing bowls and the green food colouring to the other mixing bowl.

Spoon the two different colour batters into the individual cake tins.  Bake both together in a preheated oven at 325F for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centres of the sponges come out clean.

Leave the sponges in the tins for 5 - 6 minutes, then turn them out to a wire rack.  Remove the parchment paper and leave to cool completely.

Trim the edges of the sponge cakes making sure the two cakes are exactly same size.  Cut each sponge into 8 equal rectangles.

Take 2 red and 2 green rectangles of the sponge cakes and place the red, green, red and green sponges side by side, spreading the apricot jam for each joint as glue.

Spread the apricot jam all over the top of first layered sponges.  Place next 2 red and 2 green sponges on top of the first layered sponges alternating the colors like a checkerboard.

Spread the apricot jam on top of the second layered sponges and repeat for the third and forth layers.  The apricot jam should also be spread on top of the fourth layer of sponge.

Roll out the marzipan on a surface lightly dusted with the powdered sugar into about 8 x 18 inch rectangle (it should be large enough to wrap the cake completely).

Turn the cake upside down onto the middle of marzipan and spread the apricot jam all over the front, back and top sides of the cake.

Wrap the marzipan around the cake, trim the each end of marzipan, overlap and pinch them to seal.

Place the seam side down and trim off each side.

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

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