Named to honour the union of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter with Prince Louis Battenberg in 1884, Battenberg sponge has a chequered design that is iconic among classic cakes.
Takes: 45 mins
Bakes: 30 mins
Serves: 8 people
175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
175g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour, sifted
½ tsp almond extract
pink food-colouring gel
4 tbsp homemade or good-quality apricot jam, sieved
400g yellow marzipan
icing sugar, for dusting the surface
You will need:
20cm square, deep cake tin
2-in-1 parchment and foil
cake smoother (optional)
1) Using a double layer of 2-in-1 parchment and foil, fold a barrier to divide the cake tin in half, parchment side upwards. Grease both the base and sides of the tin and the exposed parchment paper.
2) Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.
3) Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with the beater, on medium speed for 3–5 minutes, until pale and creamy.
4) Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the flour and the almond extract and beat until smooth.
5) Spoon half the mixture into one side of the divided cake tin. Add a few drops of pink food colouring to the remaining mixture in the bowl and mix until you have an even colour. Spoon the pink mixture into the other side of the cake tin.
6) Bake the cakes for 25–30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
7) Place the cooled sponges on a chopping board and, using a ruler, trim the sides of each cake to a make straight edges. Cut each cake in half lengthways to make two pink and two plain sponges. Trim the tops if they are different heights to create four identically shaped sponges.
8) Brush the apricot jam along the long sides of the cakes and join one plain and one pink slice together, lining up the short ends. Then, place one pink and one plain sponge on top, sandwiching them with jam to create a chequered pattern. Brush apricot jam over all the long sides.
9) Roll out the marzipan on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to a rectangle measuring about 20 x 30cm. Trim the edges to neaten.
10) Place the chequered cake onto the middle of the marzipan and wrap the marzipan around it, smoothing up the sides and around the corners so that the cake is tightly wrapped (you can
use a cake smoother for this, if you have one).
11) To finish, turn the cake over so that the seam is on the underside and trim a thin slice of cake off each end to neaten. Using a sharp knife, score a criss cross pattern in the marzipan on the top of the cake.
The Great British Bake Off: The Big Book of Amazing Cakes, With recipes by Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith & The Bakers, published by Sphere, £20.00