Funny enough, before making this cake for the challenge, I hadn’t eaten a single crumb of
aBattenberg. But whenever one caught my eye in the store, I couldn't help but look at it with a smile.T
here’s something about the checkered squares in yellow and pink that makes me think of tea withAlice 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 cakefor 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 areglued together using jam (normally apricot) and the whole cake is covered in marzipan. Sometimesthe 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 Battenbergrecipe comes from Mary Berry’s “Baking Bible”. It’s a
n all in one cake method, so very simple, quickand 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 allabout 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 firmedible covering like marzipan. But, you can choose any flavours you like, and if you want, even domore 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 l
ike marzipan at all, so you canalso 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, heldtogether with coffee buttercream.Other popular flavours are lemon and orange sponges glued with lemon curd and also coconutsponge 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 fantast
ic video with Mary Berry herself from an episodeof
The Great British Bake Off
demonstrating her walnut and coffee Battenberg. It shows the assemblyreally well so is worth watching.