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Going Batty for the Jubilee

Daring Bakers

Hello Daring Bakers!

It’s Mandy of What the Fruitcake?! and I am so excited about this month’s challenge. It’s not over- complicated, uses simple ingredients, doesn’t take an age to do, but, I think it’s a classic that has a certain whimsical quality, and something that I think we’ll be able to have a lot of fun with. There’s definitely room for creativity here!

What are we doing?

Battenberg Cake!

Funny enough, before making this cake for the challenge, I hadn’t eaten a single crumb of a Battenberg. But whenever one caught my eye in the store, I couldn't help but look at it with a smile.

Download printable file HERE

There’s something about the checkered squares in yellow and pink that makes me think of tea with Alice at the Madhatter’s, or a little girl serving out slices to her teddy bears on little plastic plates.

This cake has far grander beginnings than tea with teddy. It was actually created as a wedding cake for royalty.

The first Battenberg cake was made to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Victoria, to husband Prince Louis of Battenberg.

It’s traditionally flavoured with almond and has the signature Battenberg markings, that is, the yellow and pink squares (said to represent the four princes of Battenberg). The strips of sponge are glued together using jam (normally apricot) and the whole cake is covered in marzipan. Sometimes the edges are crimped and the top is patterned with a knife.

Being that this recipe is thoroughly English, I thought it would be appropriate to use a recipe from a fantastic English baker, Mary Berry. (Don’t you just love her name?). This traditional Battenberg recipe comes from Mary Berry’s “Baking Bible”. It’s an all in one cake method, so very simple, quick and very few dirty dishes!

Although there are specialised Battenberg cake tins available, you don’t need one. This can be baked in a square baking tin and a divide made with foil to separate the two batters. This recipe really is all about simplicity.

Your challenge, fantastic DBers, is to make a Battenberg cake. It must be in the traditional shape (square oblong) and must have at least two different coloured checks as well as be covered in a firm edible covering like marzipan. But, you can choose any flavours you like, and if you want, even do more than two colours (look at the end of this post for a link to a fun Rubiks Cube Battenberg). I would encourage you to use marzipan, but I know many people don’t like marzipan at all, so you can also use rolled fondant or chocolate plastique to cover your cake. You can also use buttercreams, curd, ganache etc instead of jam to glue the cake together.

I’ve also included another of Mary Berry’s Battenberg recipes, a coffee and walnut Battenberg, held together with coffee buttercream.

Other popular flavours are lemon and orange sponges glued with lemon curd and also coconut sponge with raspberry jam. I hope your creative ideas get flowing 'cause the flavour sky is the limit, go wild!

Something I love about this treat is that it makes quite a small cake, but that’s a good thing! It means you could make two or three, which means you can play with more flavours!

One last thing before the nitty gritty, here’s a fantastic video with Mary Berry herself from an episode of The Great British Bake Off demonstrating her walnut and coffee Battenberg. It shows the assembly really well so is worth watching.

Battenberg up!
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Recipe Source:
Traditional Battenberg adapted from Mary Berry’s “Baking Bible”
Coffee and Walnut Battenberg is also from Mary Berry on the BBC Food website

Blog-checking lines:
Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.

Posting Date:
June 27, 2012

Notes:
Lisa, my baker in crime over at Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives (she called herself
my "sidekick" for this, I guess that makes me Wonder Baker? Cake Woman? Something cool anyway Wink ) had an amazing Battenberg lined up for you all but came head to head with the Evil Lord Humidity, which unfortunately thwarted her arsenal of batter and marzipan. This, in turn, means you won't be seeing her seriously creative cake just yet, but I'm sure she'll dazzle you all before the month is out Smile But, it did bring to light that a lot of you will be dealing with the same baker unfriendly weather.

So, a few tips when working with marzipan/fondant/chocolate plastique in humid and hot weather.

Firstly, keep it cool. It does need to be pliable, but it won't hurt to chill it just slightly to help keep your covering from "melting" and becoming too sticky to work with. You do need to knead it to get it ready for rolling and covering but try to handle it as little as possible as soon as it's pliable enough, and if you need to, roll out the marzipan in between sheets of parchment paper and use plenty of corn flour or powdered sugar on your rolling pin, hands, surface etc.

I've adapted Mary Berry's recipes quite a bit in terms of quantities 'cause I found the amount of batter to be too little for an 8"x8" (20cmx20cm) cake pan, once the sponges were trimmed the strips were a bit on the slim side. The amounts provided are perfect for an 8"x8" (20cmx20cm) tin.

However, if you do have a Battenberg pan (8"x6") (20cmx15cm) then you will have some leftover batter. Just fill your Battenberg tin to 3/4 full and that should be enough for the batter to rise above the top of the pan which you can then trim off.

The batter is your basic sponge recipe, equal amounts of butter, sugar and flour (in weight) and it's not a fussy recipe at all. Although a lot of Battenberg recipes first cream the butter and sugar, Mary Berry swears she gets a better Battenberg sponge by using the all in one method, and I must say, my sponges came out great using the all in one method. But you're welcome to use the creaming method if you like. And if you do use the all in one method, just make sure you don't over mix the batter, once it's all combined, it's done (hard for a chronic over mixer like me!). I didn't even bother using my stand mixer, I used my hand electric mixer, and I think you could quite easily even use a wooden spoon for some old school baking Wink

If you want to add a flavour to one of the sponges in liquid form, make sure to add the same amount of liquid to the other batter in the form of milk. The batter is very thick and should be quite thick so don't add too much. You'll see an example of this in the Coffee & Walnut Battenberg.

I've included links at the end of the post for home made marzipan as well as recipes for chocolate plastique/modelling chocolate. Also at the end of the post is how to make your own self raising flour.

And for those who want to substitute the ground almonds in the batter for something else, Mary Berry recommends substituting with ground rice. It needs to be a similar texture to ground almonds so don't use rice flour. You can make your own ground rice in a food processor or coffee grinder.

Mandatory Items:
- You must make your Battenberg in the traditional square & oblong shape
- You must have at least two different coloured sponges
- You must have the traditional Battenberg Markings, ie a checked pattern
- Your Battenberg must be covered in a firm edible covering ie. Marzipan, fondant or chocolate plastique

Variations allowed:
- You can use any flavours you like
- You can have more than two coloured sponges
- You can have more than four squares making up the Battenberg markings (the checked pattern)
- You can colour the covering (marzipan, fondant or chocolate plastique)
- You can use ganache, frosting, curds etc as the "glue" for the sponges instead of jam

Preparation time:
Preparation: 15-20mins
Baking & Cooling Time: 45-60mins
Assembly: 15-20mins

Equipment required:

  • Medium Large Mixing Bowl
  • Medium Small Bowl (for buttercream)
  • Small Heatproof Bowl (for jam)
  • Spatula/Spoonula
  • Wooden Spoon OR Electric Handmixer OR Stand Mixer
  • Large Sieve
  • Small Sieve (for jam)
  • Pastry Brush (for jam)
  • Small Palette Knife OR Spatula OR Blunt Knife (for buttercreams etc)
  • 8"x8" (20cmx20cm) Square Baking Tin OR 8"x6" (20cmx15cm) Battenberg Tin
  • Bread Knife OR Pastry Knife
  • Rolling Pin
  • Sharp Knife
  • Whisk


Making the pan divider with parchment paper and foil.

I folded over a sheet of foil several times to help reinforce the divide.

Fold the parchment in half and put the foil into the crease.

Butter the bottom of the cake pan, this will help "glue" the parchment to it.

Make sure the divide is in the middle of the pan and stick the excess parchment onto the bottom.
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Traditional Battenberg:

Servings: +- 8

Ingredients
¾ cup (1½ sticks) 175gm / 6 oz Unsalted Butter, softened & cut in cubes
¾ cup / 175gm / 6 oz Caster Sugar
1¼ cups / 175gm / 6 oz Self-Raising Flour (***see end of doc on how to make your own)
3 Large Eggs, room temp
½ cup / 65gm/ 2 1/3 oz Ground Almonds (Can be substituted with ground rice)
3/4 tsp / 3½ gm Baking Powder
½ tsp / 2½ ml Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp (1¼ ml) Almond Extract
Red Food Colouring, paste, liquid or gel

To Finish
1/3 cup (80 ml) 100gm /3 ½ oz Apricot Jam
1 cup / 225gm / 8 oz Marzipan, natural or yellow

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/160°C Fan Assisted/Gas Mark 4
2. Grease an 8”/20cm square baking tin with butter
3. Line the tin with parchment paper, creating a divide in the middle with the parchment (or foil)
- Tip: See photos or watch video above for detailed instructions
4. OR Prepare Battenberg tin by brushing the tin with melted butter and flouring
5. Whisk together the dry ingredients then combine with the wet ingredients in a large bowl and beat together just until the ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth
6. Spoon half the mixture into the one side of the prepared baking tin
7. Add a few drops of red food liquid/gel/paste to the remaining batter, stir until the colour is thoroughly distributed, add more colour if needed
8. Spoon the pink batter into the other half of the prepared baking tin
9. Smooth the surface of the batter with a spatula, making sure batter is in each corner
10. Bake for 25-30mins until the cake is well risen, springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean (it should shrink away from the sides of the pan)
11. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack
12. Once completely cool, trim the edges of the cake with a long serrated knife
13. Cut each coloured sponge in half lengthways so that you are left with four long strips of sponge

14. Neaten the strips and trim as necessary so that your checkered pattern is as neat and even as possible
15. Gently heat the apricot jam and pass through a small sieve

16. Brush warmed jam onto the strips of cake to stick the cake together in a checkered pattern (one yellow next to one pink. On top of that, one pink next to one yellow)
- Tip: See photos for detailed instructions
17. Dust a large flat surface with icing sugar then roll the marzipan in an oblong shape that is wide enough to cover the length of the cake and long enough to completely wrap the cake
18. Brush the top of the cake with apricot jam
19. Place the cake on the marzipan, jam side down
- Tip: Either in the middle or to the one side of the marzipan
20. Brush the remaining three sides with jam
21. 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
- Tip: If you put the sponge to the one side of the marzipan, I found it easiest to "roll" the sponge over and over onto the marzipan instead of lifting the marzipan up onto the sponge
22. Carefully flip the cake over so that the seam is under the cake and score the top of the cake with a knife, you can also crimp the top corners with your fingers to decorate
23. 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
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Coffee and Walnut Battenberg:

Servings: +- 8

Ingredients
¾ cup (1½ sticks) 175gm / 6 oz Unsalted Butter, softened & cut in cubes
¾ cup / 175gm / 6 oz Caster Sugar
1¼ cups / 175gm / 6 oz Self-Raising Flour (***see end of doc on how to make your own)
3 Large Eggs, room temp
½ cup / 65gm / 2 1/3 oz Ground Almonds (Can be substituted with ground rice)
3/4 tsp / 3½ gm Baking Powder
3 tsp (15 ml) Milk
½ tsp (2½ ml) Vanilla Extract
1½ tsp (7½ ml) 7 gm Instant Coffee Powder or Granules
3 Tbsp / 25gm / 1 oz Walnuts, roughly chopped

To Finish
½ cup (1 stick) 115gm /4 oz Unsalted Butter
2 cups / 225gm /8 oz Powdered (Icing/Confectioners') Sugar
½ tsp / 2 gm Instant Coffee
1½ tsp (7½ ml) Milk or Cream
1 cup / 225gm /8 oz Marzipan, natural or yellow

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/160°C Fan Assisted/Gas Mark 4
2. Grease an 8”/20cm square baking tin with butter
3. Line the tin with parchment paper, creating a divide in the middle with the parchment (or foil)
- Tip: See photos or watch video above for detailed instructions
4. OR Prepare Battenberg tin by brushing the tin with melted butter and flouring
5. Whisk together dry ingredients (except walnuts and coffee) and combine with the wet ingredients in a large bowl (except vanilla and milk) and beat together just until the ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth
6. Spoon half the mixture into a separate bowl and stir in the vanilla, 1½ teaspoons milk and chopped walnuts
7. Spoon the walnut mixture into the one side of the prepared baking tin
8. Dissolve the coffee in the remaining 1½ teaspoon milk and add to the remaining batter, stir until just combined
9. Spoon the coffee batter into the other half of the prepared baking tin
10. Smooth the surface of the batter with a spatula, making sure batter is in each corner
11. Bake for 25-30mins until the cake is well risen, springs back when lightly touched and a
toothpick comes out clean (it should shrink away from the sides of the pan)
12. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack


The specialised Battenberg cake tin.
Because it's such a thick batter I find that if you spread the batter so that it's higher at the edges, when it bakes it helps rise without as much of a curved surface.

13. Once completely cool, trim the edges of the cake with a long serrated knife
14. Cut each sponge in half lengthways so that you are left with four long strips of sponge
15. Neaten the strips and trim as necessary so that your checkered pattern is as neat and even as possible

16. Combine the buttercream ingredients together and mix until combined
17. Spread a thin layer of buttercream onto the strips of cake to stick the cake together in a checkered pattern (one yellow next to one pink. On top of that, one pink next to one yellow)
- Tip: See photos for detailed instructions
18. Dust a large flat surface with icing sugar then roll the marzipan in an oblong shape that is wide enough to cover the length of the cake and long enough to completely wrap the cake
19. Spread the top of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream
20. Place the cake on the marzipan, buttercream side down
21. Spread buttercream onto the remaining three sides
22. 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
23. Carefully flip the cake over so that the seam is under the cake and score the top of the cake with a knife, you can also crimp the top corners with your fingers to decorate
24. 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
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Mocha Hazelnut Battenberg covered in White Chocolate Plastique

Chocolate Plastique / Modelling Chocolate:

Servings: +- 8

Dark Chocolate Plastique
200gm /7 oz Good Quality Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa content)
¼ cup / 60ml /2 oz Light Corn Syrup / Glucose Syrup / Golden Syrup

Milk Chocolate Plastique
200gm /7 oz Good Quality Milk Chocolate (+-50% Cocoa content)
3 Tbsp / 45ml /1½ oz Light Corn Syrup / Glucose Syrup / Golden Syrup

White Chocolate Plastique
200gm /7 oz Good Quality White Chocolate
2 Tbsp / 30ml /1 oz Light Corn Syrup / Glucose Syrup / Golden Syrup

Directions:
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, stir occasionally
2. Once completely melted, remove from heat and allow to cool a bit
3. Stir in corn syrup / glucose syrup / golden syrup, it will seize up almost immediately, just keep stirring until mixed and it comes away from the side of the bowl
4. Transfer chocolate into a sealable bag, spread the chocolate out then seal the bag
5. Leave overnight or refrigerate for about 2 hours until completely firm
6. Turn out from the bag and knead on a surface dusted with powdered sugar, at first it will just break , but as you knead, it will warm up and start to become pliable
7. Knead until it's pliable enough to roll out or mould, 5 - 10mins
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Storage Instructions/Tips:
- Battenberg will keep for 3-4 days stored at room temperature in an airtight container
- Keep chocolate plastique in an airtight container at room temperature, it will keep for as long as the
expiry date on the chocolate wrapper

Additional Information:

How to make your own self raising flour:

1 cup Self Raising Flour = 1 cup / 115g All Purpose Flour + 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder + ¼ tsp Salt (omit salt if there is salt in the recipe) sifted together

Mary Berry's Coffee and Walnut Battenberg
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/coffee_and_walnut_88342

Rubik's Cube Battenberg
http://www.instructables.com/id/Rubiks-Battenburg-Cake/

Some more fun with colours
http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2011/10/batty-battenburg-cake-and-ghoulish....

Two coloured Nine square patterned Battenberg
http://www.objetivocupcake.com/2011/05/el-16-de-junio-me-va-dar-un-ataqu...

Egg Free Pound Cake
http://www.bestallergysites.com/egg-free-cake-recipe/

Vegan Yellow Cake
http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/cakes/r/Recipe_VeganYellowCake.htm

Chocolate Plastique/Modelling Chocolate
http://www.joyofbaking.com/ModelingChoc.html
(For DBers who don’t have access to corn syrup, replace the corn syrup with golden or glucose syrup)

Uncooked Marzipan Recipes
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/8164/easy-vanilla-marzipan

Cooked Marzipan Recipes
https://realfood.tesco.com/search.html?search=marzipan
http://thecookieshopinenglish.wordpress.com/2009/09/08/diy-marzipan/

Disclaimer:
The Daring Kitchen and its members in no way suggest we are medical professionals and therefore are NOT responsible for any error in reporting of “alternate baking/cooking”. If you have issues with digesting gluten, then it is YOUR responsibility to research the ingredient before using it. If you have allergies, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are lactose intolerant, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you.
If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. The responsibility is YOURS regardless of what health issue you’re dealing with. Please consult your physician with any questions before using an ingredient you are not familiar with. Thank you! Smile

MandyM
Baking Bible
Mary Berry