Posted in Kafevend Blog

I'm not normally one for watching reality style television shows, but having caught the tail end of Celebrity Masterchef I must admit I enjoyed it- though I feel it could do with a little less of the dramatic music. One episode saw the last four contestants preparing an afternoon tea for a group of Pearly Kings and Queens. The ever popular Battenberg cake went down well, and so instead of the store bought stuff, why not try making your own to accompany your cup of tea?

-175g very soft butter
-175g golden caster sugar
-140g self raising flour
-50g ground almonds
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-3 medium eggs
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 tsp almond extract
-a few drops of red food colouring

To assemble:
-100g apricot jam
-500g white marzipan
-icing sugar for dusting

-Heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and line the base and sides of two 20 x 10cm loaf tins with baking parchment.
-Whisk together the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and almond extract in a large bowl until the mix comes together smoothly.
-Halve the mixture and stir in the food colouring to one half. Pour each mixture into one of the tins and spread it out evenly. Place in the oven and check after about 20 mins. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
-Level off the top and sides of the sponges and then cut lengthways- plan ahead to obtain square cross sections. Place the blocks together and trim the ends so they are all the same length.
-Heat the jam in a small pan until runny and then sieve.
-Roll out the marzipan on a surface dusted with icing sugar to just over 20cm wide, then roll lengthways until it is roughly 0.5cm thick.
-Brush the marzipan with the jam and then lay a yellow and pink slice, with jam brushed between them, at one end, leaving a few centimetres of the marzipan clear.
-Brush more jam on top of the sponges and add the remaining slices, sandwiched with jam, to create the checkerboard pattern.
-Cut the marzipan edges to match the length of the sponge and then carefully lift and smooth the marzipan over the remaining faces of the sponge. Trim the width-wise edges as they meet to create a neat seam.

Recipe based on Sarah Cook's Battenberg cake recipe from the BBC GoodFood website

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