The Battenberg Cake was another of my favourites as a child, although I don’t recall us every making it ourselves but buying it commercially. I haven’t eaten it in years since I haven’t lived in the UK for nearly sixteen and the Kiwi’s don’t seem make it either so it was time to have a go myself. I decided to use my trusted ‘equal quantities’ sponge cake which never seems to fail and a home made marzipan. It looks like it might be a time consuming cake but it actually didn’t take very long to make and with the home made marzipan it was even tastier than I remembered it.
The origin of the Battenberg cake is not clear, but one theory claims that the cake was created in honour of the marriage in 1884 of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter to Prince Louis of Batternberg, with each of the four squares representing each of the four Battenberg princes: Louis, Alexander, Henry and Francis Joseph.
Ingredients – Cake
- 250g butter
- 250g sugar
- 250g SR flour
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons of strawberry jam
Ingredients – Marzipan
- 75g icing sugar, plus extra for rolling out
- 1 medium egg
- 175g ground almonds
- 1 medium egg yolk
Method – Cake
- Grease a 20cm square cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
- Preheat over to 170 degrees centigrade.
- Place butter & sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk or good old fashioned wooded spoon until light and fluffy.
- Add one egg at a time and whisk in between additions.
- Sift flour into mixture and fold gently through with a metal spoon so not to loose all the air that has been beaten in.
- Separate the mixture into half into two bowls and add a few drops of red food colour to one half to make a rich pink colour. Add a few drops of yellow food colour to the other half to make a light yellow.
- Spoon the pink into one side of the cake tin and yellow into the other side
- Bake in oven for 30- 35 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out of the sponge clean.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Method – Marzipan
- In a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, whisk the sugars, egg and yolk for about 10 minutes until pale and thick.
- Take off the heat and add ground almonds
- Mix and then knead until smooth.
- Wrap and chill for 30 minutes
- Cut cake down the middle to separate the two colours and trim off any over lapping colour.
- Place the pink cake on top of the yellow cake and trim to the same size.
- Cut in half lengthways to give 2 long strips of each colour.
- Warm the jam and sieve.
- Lay a strip of pink cake on a board and brush the top and sides with jam
- Lay a yellow strip next to it and do the same.
- Arrange the other 2 strips on top, colours reversed, and brush the jam all over.
- Roll the marzipan into a rectangle to fit around cake.
- Place the cake at one end of the rectangle and tightly wrap in the marzipan.
- Place on the seam, slice and serve.