This month's Daring Bakers' Challenge was brought to us by Mandy from What the Fruitcake?!. Thank you so much Mandy for a fantastic challenge! I had a ton of fun with this one. Our challenge was to create a Battenberg Cake. Mandy highlighted Mary Berry's techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.
I decided to have a ton of fun with this one. As the guidelines required the typical shape and design of the Traditional Battenberg I had to stick with that. But, we were encouraged to use whatever flavors and colors we wanted! I decided to dedicate this cake to my little brother.
My brother, Zack, is going off to college for the first time in the fall. I am a hard-core Badger and I love Wisconsin so I was a little sad to see him choose University of Illinois. However, the engineering program is going to be perfect for him and he is even trying out for the marching band! I know that he made a great choice and I am sure he is going to have an amazing time. I made my Battenberg Cake blue and orange in honor of his new school! Good luck in the fall, Zack! I know you will do great!
Traditional Battenberg Cake (adapted from Mary Berry's Battenberg Cake)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup apricot preserves
7 oz plain marzipan
powdered sugar (just a little)
1. Preheat oven to 350, grease an 8 by 8 inch baking pan, and create a divider along the middle of the pan using foil and parchment paper. Grease the divider as well.
2. Whisk the flour, ground almonds, and baking powder together in a medium bowl.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until well combined and then beat in the vanilla and almond extract. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients until just combined.
4. Place half of the batter into a small bowl and the other half into a different small bowl. Mix in blue food coloring into one of the bowls and red/yellow into the other until you have your desired coloring. Or, use your own colors!
6. Once cool, trim the sides of the cake and make sure that each side is even. Cut each color into half and place in the Battenberg design. Heat up the apricot preserves and brush the strips of cake with them so that they stick together.