There’s something very special about those pink and yellow squares when you cut into a Battenberg that brings you back to being young. It was such a treat to get and always felt like a special occasion when a Battenberg was produced on the table.
It feels like a lot of work but honestly, it’s not. The cutting and joining of coloured sponges can be a little sticky and rolling out the marzipan a little messy but the result is definitely worth it and always impresses when it’s homemade!
If you have one of the specific Battenberg cake tins, then the job will be a little easier in that you don’t have much slicing to do but equally, a 20cm/8″ square baking tin will do just as well. Use a piece of parchment and stabilize it with folded tin foil to create a partition as in the pictures below
So a few things which will help to get perfect results.
A) Use medium sized eggs or the sponges will rise too much
B) Grease the tin and then flour it (don’t cut corners or it will stick)
C) Use a gel food colouring and add using a toothpick a little at a time
D) Buy a 500g block of marzipan otherwise you will have to patch it up!
175g butter or margarine
150g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
175g self raising flour
Pink food colouring
500g marzipan (try to get the white rather than yellow)
Caster sugar for rolling out
Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4. Grease and flour the baking tin.
Cream together the butter and sugar until it’s light and creamy. This will take about 4 minutes with an electric beater.
Gradually add the beaten eggs, a little at a time and beat well after each addition.
Fold in the flour gently.
Divide the mixture into two equal portions. You can weigh them to get as accurate as possible. Add the pink food colouring to one half and gently mix until you get the desired effect and it’s evenly distributed.
Spoon the pink mix into one half and the plain into the other and level out.
Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 30 – 35 mins till it’s evenly coloured and firm to touch.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin. If it has risen above the top of the tin, use a knife to cut across the top to remove any excess.
Once cool, remove from the tin and when completely cold, brush the apricot jam onto the long sides of the cake and join one plain side and one pink side together. Then join the second plain and pink on top to create the chequered pattern.
Then brush the apricot jam over all the long sides. I think it’s best to go over the sides twice to give a nice covering of apricot jam.
Roll out the marzipan on a work surface sprinkled with caster sugar so it’s a rectangular size large enough to cover your cake. Neaten the edges with a scissors or sharp knife.
Place your cake on the marzipan so one side is lined up to the edge of the marzipan and completely wrap the marzipan around the cake. Trim away any extra marzipan to leave neat edges and leave the ends trimmed with a knife.
You can decorate the top of the cake with a fork for a lovely effect.
Cut and enjoy!
Bake with love