This month for the Daring Bakers’ Challenge our original host had to bow out unexpectedly but 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. I love the gorgeous checked design of a Battenburg cake. It looks so interesting and feels like you’ll be eating something extra special.
This cake actually has its roots as a special occasion cake, a wedding cake for royalty in fact. The first Battenberg cake was made to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Victoria, to husband Prince Louis of Battenberg. A Battenberg cake is a sponge cake that is traditionally flavoured with almond and has the signature yellow and pink squares. The strips of sponge cake are glued together using apricot jam and then the cake is covered in marzipan. Sometimes the edges are crimped and the top is patterned with a knife.
At first glance, this cake may look like it would be a complicated project but I assure you, it’s all about simplicity. It requires one bowl and even though a cake pan does exist specifically for making Battenberg cake, this can be baked in a square baking tin with a simple divider made with foil to separate the two batters. The batter takes mere moments to prepare and the assembly was easy as pie, so to speak. Then just roll out the marzipan and roll your cake onto it like a log until all four sides are covered. Viola!
Of course, I had some help in the kitchen and maybe a little extra clean up than you will.
The finished product is a cake that is moist and has the distinct taste of sweet almond. Loving the combination of cherry and almonds, I held my Battenberg together with cherry jam instead of apricot. I also love the dainty size of this little cake. It’s the perfect size for dessert after a family dinner with only a little leftover for a nice midnight snack.
You can find the recipe HERE as well as detailed instructions, video and gorgeous pictures of all sorts of Battenberg beauties.
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