I might horrify you here. I scared myself a little – I had an important mission to undertake: I was asked to make a Battenburg cake last week. My memories of these are of pink and white sawdust cake, eaten to be polite, the cake that could not be refused. But we found two packets of old marzipan left over from Christmas in the garage and Brian suggested this, adding the killer line,
My Gran used to make this for me, and it’s my favourite.
…. here is my first attempt – tasteful, natural colouring, extremely fashionable looking isn’t it? Note lack of pinpoint precision and razor sharp lines too :) Because I can’t resist looking these things up this is what Wiki has to say
The origin of the name is not clear, but one theory claims that the cake was created in honour of the marriage in 1884 of Queen Victoria‘s granddaughter to Prince Louis of Battenberg, with the four squares representing the four Battenberg princes: Louis, Alexander, Henry and Francis Joseph.
OK, probably a bit heavy on the pink stuff, but the sponge worked beautifully
and I used these two Matfer tins that I had, one of which I got for a song in Cheltenham the other week. 25 cm long x 7 wide approx (the tin doesn’t need to be very deep) more like a couple of inches so you could use any two shallow tins. I got lucky this time.
So now what I want to do is make a brown and green one, that red food colouring is just a bit much. Though if you close your eyes and eat the cake it is actually melty delicious, soft light sponge, and sweet with apricots and marzipan and home made is definitely better than anything you can buy. Assembling the thing has a certain lego like quality of silliness that made me feel very happy. Who can be sad looking at a cake like that?
But to my reason for writing this post – can anyone suggest how to make
this sponge mix into chocolate and pistachio ????
- 175 g self raising flour
- 175 g caster sugar
- 175 g butter
- 3 eggs
- and of course red food colouring (only use a couple of drops, not like me who used a teaspoonful!)
for the two sponges
You also need
- small jar of apricot or raspberry jam
- old packet of leftover marzipan from Christmas
- Cream soft unsalted butter and sugar till really really white and fluffy
- Add eggs one at at time
- Fold in the flour gently.
Nothing complicated until you have to decide how much food colouring, don’t use as much as I did (!) and how to divide the batter between the two lightly greased tins.
I cooked these at 170 C in an ordinary oven for 27 minutes, might take less or more depending on your oven. Felt soft and delicate when I pressed with finger but the skewer came out clean so took them out.
Leave to sit in tin for a couple of minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely before cutting each sponge in half into 2 square profiled logs with a serrated knife.
You can cut away till you get them more or less the same and eat the bits as you go along.
Assemble the cake from your four logs, white on pink, using warmed jam as the mortar on the inside surfaces, don’t put jam on the outside at this point. The logs don’t have to be perfect, the cake is quite forgiving as you assemble it.
When putting the marzipan on, you need to roll it out quite thinly to about 1/4 inch deep. You need to do a bit of measuring to make sure you have a piece that will wrap all the way round the cake. Then you brush some warmed jam on the top of the cake Pick the cake up and place it jam side down on the marzipan sheet.
Then cover the sides and the top with a layer of jam and gently bring the marzipan up round the sides, pressing and smoothing as you go and across the top.
Trim off the ends with a sharp knife and turn upside down again so the seam is on the bottom of the cake.
It’s a good idea to chill the whole thing in the fridge for an hour to help it firm up once you have put the marzipan on.
what sort of chocolate/cocoa would I need to add and how much ?
ditto if I chopped up pistachios and toasted them a bit, how much would I need to add?
And if anyone wants to have a go at it and show me how it should be done, that would be great! If you send me a picture, (or if you blog, a link to your post that would be fun too) – and I’ll add them on to this post if you want me to.
Oh, and was it like his Gran’s? I have no idea, he’s eaten most of it, so lets hope so :)
To see Lynne’s and be inspired to have a go click here. Do send me a picture if you feel like sharing it here. Email zebbakes at gmail.com
Edit: Since I wrote this post I have had a go at a chocolate version using Suelle’s suggestions of adding 1 tbsp of cocoa and 50 g of melted chocolate to one half of the mixture and 50 grams of ground pistachios and a smidgen of green food colour to the other half. Here’s a picture: I really like the chocolate marzipan which was 2 tbsps cocoa worked into a packet of white marzipan….