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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Mini Battenberg Cakes




It was my birthday not too long ago and my lovely boyfriend treated me to the most scrumptious and pretty darn swanky afternoon tea. Yes that's right, I prefer birthday tea to birthday cocktails, I'm just rock and roll like that.

Anyway, one of the glorious little bakes I had the pleasure of devouring that day was a little slice of mini Battenberg cake. I was pretty taken with it, it wasn't that it was the best Battenberg cake I had ever eaten, it was just the cutest little Battenberg I had ever seen and as we all know I'm a sucker for all things cute.

I was of course making mini Battenberg cakes within days, I just couldn't help myself.


My little cakes went down a storm, they were so yummy! I loved making them and they were nowhere near as fiddly and time consuming as I had expected.

This recipe makes two marzipan covered rectangular cakes measuring approximately 20cm x 5cm, I then cut each one in half to make 4 little cakes measuring approximately 10 x 5cm. Each of the four little cakes will cut into around 6-8 little slices.

I have used natural marzipan for my Battenberg cakes, just out of preference but you can use white marzipan instead.  To up the pretty factor of my little cakes I lightly dusted the marzipan with shimmering gold lustre dust, which transformed my Battenberg cakes into wonderfully festive looking little treats.


Mini Battenberg Cakes

Makes 4 mini cakes 

225g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
225g unsalted butter, room temperature
225g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
pink or red food colouring paste
250g apricot jam
500g golden marzipan
2-3 tbsp icing sugar for rolling
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grease a 20cm/8in square cake tin with butter.

Firstly you need to line your cake tin and create a division so that you can bake the two different coloured sponges at the same time.

Cut two 30cm x 20cm strips of baking paper to fit your cake tin. Line your cake tin with one sheet of baking paper and then grease the top of the baking paper. Do not apply the second sheet of baking paper yet.

Take a sheet of baking foil and fold into a 20cm long rectangle that fits directly inside and across the centre of your square cake tin.  Take your 2nd strip of baking paper and fold it in half, place the foil rectangle in the crease you have just created. Make two more folds at the base of the foil so that the baking paper stretches outwards either side of the foil divide.  Place the foil rectangle into the cake tin, making sure it is perfectly centred and stick the excess parchment to the bottom of the cake tin.


To Make the Cake:

Sift together the flour baking powder and salt.

Using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar for around 5 minutes or until very light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add half of the flour and beat until just combined, add the milk and vanilla and once again beat just until combined. Add the remaining flour and beat just until blended. 

Weigh the mixture and divide into two equal portions.



Add just a little red food colouring to one of the portions and mix until the colour is even throughout. 



Spoon the pink batter into one half of the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface with a spatula.  Add the uncoloured cake batter to the other half of the cake tin and again smooth the surface with a spatula.

Bake the cakes in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the cakes are well risen and spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. A toothpick inserted into the centre of each cake should come out clean. 

Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Once the cakes are completely cool, trim the edges with a long serrated knife.  

Cut each coloured sponge in half lengthwise so that you are left with four long strips of sponge (two pink and two white). Now cut each strip in half lengthwise again so that you have four long thin strips of white sponge and four long thin strips of pink sponge.

Neaten the strips as necessary and stack them into two separate little cakes, creating the two by two checkered pattern. 


To Decorate:

Gently heat the apricot jam and pass through a small sieve.

Brush the warm jam between each strip of cake to stick the cake strips together.

Dust icing sugar over a large flat surface and roll out half of the marzipan into a rectangle that is both wide enough and long enough to cover the entire cake. 

Brush the top of one of your cakes with jam and place it jam side down onto the centre of the marzipan. Brush all the remaining sides of the cake with apricot jam and draw the marzipan up and around the cake. I like to seal my cakes so that the marzipan join runs directly along the centre of the base.

Carefully turn the cake over so that the seam is on the underside of the cake. Smooth the marzipan and ensure all edges are neat and straight. Trim each end of the cake, removing any excess marzipan and revealing the checker board pattern.

Repeat with you remaining cake, once again dusting your surface with icing sugar and rolling out the second half of the marzipan into a rectangle.

Once again brush the top of the cake with jam and place it jam side down onto the centre of the marzipan. Brush all the remaining sides of the cake with apricot jam and draw the marzipan up and around the cake. 

Carefully turn the cake over so that the seam is on the underside of the cake. Smooth the marzipan and trim each end of the cake to remove any excess marzipan and reveal the checker board pattern.

Cut each cake in half so that you are left with four roughly 10cm long rectangular cakes.

Slice to serve.


Enjoy!

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