english battenberg cake

English Battenberg Cake

Posted by Olga at recipegoldmine.com 9/22/02 1:51:17 pm

A two-colored sponge cake, baked in an oblong tin, usually covered with almond paste; named in honor of the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter to Prince Louis of Battenberg, 1884.

An attractive sponge cake in a two-colored, checker-board design, Battenberg Cake is usually iced with almond paste. Make the cake two days before you need it because it has to stand for at least 48 hours before it is cut.

6 servings

1 cup (8 ounces) butter
1 cup castor sugar (extra fine white sugar, fruit sugar, or
    take regular sugar and blend in blender until it is fine)
2 cups SELF RISING flour (8 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons apricot jam

Almond Paste
1 cup confectioners’ (icing) sugar (4 ounces)
1/2 cup castor sugar (extra fine white sugar) (4 ounces)
1 1/3 cups ground almonds (8 ounces)
1 teaspoon lemon juice a few drops almond essence
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 degrees F (Gas Mark 5, 190C).

Prepare a 9 x 6-inch cake tin by cutting a piece of heavy aluminum foil the exact length of the base, but 2 inches wider than the width. Fold a pleat in the middle so that the foil lies quite flat on the bottom of the tin and the pleat stands up, forming a wall which divides the tin into two oblongs of equal size.

With a wooden spoon, beat the butter and sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl, until the mixture is very light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition, along with 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir well to mix.

Fold in the remaining flour and the vanilla essence. Mix in a little milk, if it is necessary, to make the batter of a consistency that will drop easily off the spoon. Pour half the cake batter into one half of the prepared cake tin.

Mix the cocoa into the rest of the batter, add a spoonful of milk, if necessary, and pour it into the other half of the tin. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. When the cake is cooked, set it aside to cool.

While the cake is baking, make the almond paste. Sift the icing sugar and the castor sugar together into a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix in the ground almonds. Add the lemon juice, almond essence and enough beaten egg to bind all the ingredients into a paste.

Sprinkle your working surface with a little icing sugar and put the paste on it. Knead the almond paste until it is smooth. Be careful not to over-knead as the paste will become oily.

Remove the cake from the tin. Trim the two halves to equal size and cut each in half lengthways. Spread the side of one piece of white cake with the apricot jam and place a brown piece next to it. Spread jam on top of the two halves. Repeat with the other two halves of the cake, alternating the white and brown, and place on top of the jam covered layer to form a checker-board pattern. Press gently together. Spread the remaining jam over the top and the sides of the cake.

On a lightly sugared board roll the almond paste into an oblong large enough to encase the whole cake. Wrap it round the cake, trimming the edges to leave the ends of the uncovered. Crimp the top edges to make a border and, with a knife, score a criss-cross pattern on the top. Keep the cake in a tin with a tight fitting lid for two days before serving.