Recipe 50 – Battenburg Cake

25th March 2012


Well it’s the big 5 0.  I can’t believe I’m already at 50 bakes and that my family have eaten 49 different cakes/bakes so far.


The poll I did to see what cake I should bake was a bit of a disaster – I had one vote on my ‘Self Raising Flower’ page and two votes on my personal facebook page.  The choice was Death by Chocolate, Battenburg or Chocolatines.  Believe it or not, they all had one vote each, so it was down to my daughter to decide.  She picked Battenburg, so Batternburg was to be my fiftieth bake.


I’ve had such a busy week that I haven’t had time to bake, I know terrible, but with work, family, the dog, the greenhouse to sort out and the allotment (which is still very neglected at the moment – well half of it is) time has just flown by.  Hopefully now that the clocks have gone forward and the evenings will be lighter, I will be able to do the garden/allotment in the evening – well that’s the plan anyway.


So, boys off to rugby as usual on a Sunday morning, so all was quiet – I did contemplate going to the allotment, but thought no I must bake this 50th cake.


The oven was preheated and a shallow 18cm tin greased and lined.  I can remember watching the contestants in the GBBO baking Battenburg and remembered how they divided their cake tin into two.  So with baking parchment in hand I carefully folded a crease in the middle to separate the two sides and placed this into the tin.  


I was surprised to see that this cake was an ‘all in one’ mixture.  I thought it would be made in lots of different stages.  The butter was measured into the bowl and I admit I had to put it in the microwave for a few seconds just to soften it up as I had forgotten to take it out of the fridge again.  Then I added the caster sugar, along with two eggs.  Next I needed ground rice, I knew I had bought some a while ago as I had planned to bake this cake earlier in the year, but kept putting it off as it looked too difficult.  The ground rice was located at the back of the cupboard and weighed out and put into the mixing bowl.  Then it was onto the self raising flour and baking powder.  


I was surprised to see that you also needed to add a couple of drops of almond extract.  I would have thought the almond flavour from the marzipan would have been strong enough, but no two drops were added to the mixture.


It was then out with the good old hand mixer where I had to beat the mixture for 2 minutes.  I actually set the timer on my phone for this to make sure I did beat for two minutes.   This cake was not going to be a failure.   It’s surprising how long two minutes is.  Normally I count in my head one hundred and one, one hundred and two, one hundred and three etc etc.  I think I count too quickly because I found myself still counting even though the timer was on and I got to the two minutes about 15 seconds too early!


With the mixture all mixed up it was a case of putting one half of the mixture into one half of the cake tin.  I pushed all the mixture down to the bottom of the bowl and with a spatula cut a line through the middle.  One half was put into the tin.  With the remaining half I had to add some red food colouring.  Mary says add a few drops to get a deep pink colour.  I did, it was very slightly pink, so a few more drops were added, still not a deep pink so a few more drops were added, getting there, two more drops and that was it, well I thought it was bright enough.


So into the other half went the pink mixture.  As I was spooning it in I realised I hadn’t actually put half the mixture into the other side, there seemed a lot more of the pink mixture.  Whoops.
Anyway, both sides were levelled out and carefully placed in the oven.  The timer was set for 35 minutes.  After 35 minutes I checked on the cake, but thought it needed 5 more minutes.  So 5 minutes later it was removed from the oven and left to cool for a few minutes.  The pink half of the mixture had risen slightly more than the other side (as there was more of the pink mixture) and had pushed the centre fold of my parchment over a bit.  Hopefully this wouldn’t matter and I would be able to get four decent slices of cake.  The cake was turned out of the tin and the parchment removed.  It was then a case of leaving it to cool.


With the boys back from rugby it was time to cook sausage sandwiches for them (and my daughter) and then to take the dog for a walk.  I think I was putting off putting the marzipan on the cake, this was the bit I was dreading.


First things first I trimmed the edges of the cake and then cut four equal strips of cake – two of each colour.  Next a few tablespoons of apricot jam were melted and the four strips were brushed with the jam and stuck together.  It looked quite good so far!  The top two strips were brushed with the warm jam too.


Onto the marzipan.  I gently kneaded the marzipan to make it more pliable and made it into an oblong shape the width of my strips of cake.  This was then rolled out.  I measure with some cotton the outside of the cake to make sure my marzipan had been rolled out enough.  It was slightly too small so another quick rolls and I knew it would fit all the way round.


I picked the marzipan up on the rolling pin and placed the middle of it over the cake.  The next bit I think was the bit that worried me the most as  realised I should have picked the cake up and placed the side that had been spread with the jam onto the marzipan – not as I had done put the marzipan onto the cake.  Oh well, I quickly turned the marzipan and cake over and to my relief the marzipan didn’t split and the cake remained sandwiched together.  I brushed the remaining three sides of the cake with the melted jam and brought the marzipan up over the sides and onto the top.  There was a slight overlap, so I cut through both pieces of marzipan and peeled the excess off and then put the two pieces together, like a seam.  I gently pushed these together so the seam disappeared.


The cake was quickly flipped over again and the top was gently scored with a knife to make a criss-cross pattern.


I must admit I was impressed, this cake had turned out far better than I expected it would and in all honesty was a lot easier to make than I thought it would.





Within minutes of finishing it the family wanted to try it.  I got the thumbs up from everyone – there are a couple of slices left, but by this evening, I think it will all have been eaten!

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