Battenburg has never been one of my favourite cakes, but with the welcome return of the Great British Bake Off (#GBBO) I decided to have a go at making one.
For those of you not up to speed on GBBO, the very first challenge of the new series was to bake a Battenburg, including marzipan. Both me and my lovely baking wife enjoyed the first episode, especially with new host Matt Lucas. His take on Boris was brilliant and he has added a lot to the show. That’s not to take anything away from Sandi Toksvig, as she was also very good. If anything, I think the weak link might be Noel Fielding!
Anyway, back to my attempt at a Battenburg. We already had most of the ingredients, all that we needed was some ground almonds, cocoa powder and some ready made marzipan. Maybe next time I will have a go at that as well. I was using a recipe from Lorraine Pascale, with one sponge vanilla and the other mocha. First problem was that the butter wasn’t softened so creaming it with the sugar was hard work, probably should have used the food mixer! Once the mixture was made it needed to be split into two, with cocoa powder and coffee added to one half. I’m not a baker, but surely the extra dry ingredient will make the sponge less light. We also don’t own a specialist baking tin, so two loaf tins were used.
The vanilla sponge took a few minutes longer to bake, but unlike in GBBO I could leave both sponges as much time to cool as was necessary. I trimmed them and cut them in half, before using warm apricot jam to hold it all together. Next issue was the marzipan. I had rolled it out and measured it using the measurements from the recipe, rather than measuring my cake. Obviously the wasn’t enough, so with some of it stuck to the cake I had to roll the ‘flaps’ a bit thinner.
End result can be seen in the photo below, although the photo isn’t very good.
I left the cake for Helen, who had gone for a longish run with friends, while I nipped out on my bike. Upon returning, Helen told me how good my Battenburg cake was, she even gave me a Hollywood handshake. The neighbours were also impressed.
One small issue I had with Lorraine’s recipe was at the end she states that it would be a great cake to make for your man!
I have to say that while my Battenburg wasn’t perfect, I think it was a mighty fine first attempt.