Monday, 4 May 2015

Battenberg Birthday Cake (Wheat and Dairy Free)

As of today, my blog has 7000 views! I am super pleased, and a big thank you goes out to everyone who reads and makes use of my recipes. This is yet another thing to celebrate this weekend, as it was my companion's birthday yesterday, and also the big day out with my youth group. And celebrations need special cakes: say hello to the Battenberg Gateau!


Through a lot of surreptitious questioning and hinting, I discovered that my companion's favourite cake it Battenberg: a delicious rectangular loaf of almond flavoured sponge, arranged in a checkerboard of yellow and pink, apricot jam for gluing, and a marzipan coating, traditionally scored in a crosshatch pattern.


Now, mine was different in a few ways: a) because it is round and not a rectangular loaf, and b) because I used raspberry instead of apricot jam. It still used the traditional combination of natural and pink sponge with marzipan, but I held off on luminous yellow colouring for the marzipan.

So, let's start with the sponge itself. I made two 7 inch (18 centimeters) almond flavoured sponges in the same way I made the sponge for my Fondant Fancies; for each I used 3 medium eggs and scaling the rest of the ingredients up accordingly, and added ½ teaspoon of almond essence, and tainted one of the cakes pink with some red food colouring. I baked them each for 35 to 40 minutes at 170°C (325°F/Gas Mk.3); bigger cakes take more time on a lower setting.

This recipe makes a super light and fluffy cake, which is just like the cake found in a commercially made Battenbergs. You can, however, use which ever sponge cake recipe you like.


Once cooked, each cake was a little over 2 inches (5 centimetres) tall, and gave two 1 inch (2½ centimetre) slices, with the dome coming off the top. If you measure up from the bottom and then cut the slices, the dome will just be left behind. 

I then used the same concentric circles technique as I did for this checkerboard cake when arranging this, cutting each slice with a 4½ inch and a 2½ inch (12 centimetre and 6 centimetre) round cutter of some kind, or cut around bowls or glasses that are the same size. I used three layers in total, and as such I had a slice left over for nibbling.

I fused the concentric rings together with sieved raspberry jam, sandwiched all the three layers together with the sieved raspberry jam, and then spread jam around the outsides of the cake, too. I coated the cake with marzipan, which I rolled out to a quarter-inch (half centimetre) thickness, gently scoring the top with a crosshatch patter; I then used the excess to cut some decorative shapes.



You can buy marzipan from the shop is you like, or you can make your own, which is done by mixing equal quantities of ground almonds and icing sugar, bound with enough water to make a dough. To coat this cake, I used 3 ounces (85 grammes) each of ground almonds and icing sugar, but in hindsight, I think 4 ounces (115 grammes) of each would have made a better, thicker coating, as mine was just under quarter of an inch, as you can see in this picture.


This was really delicious, and I'm already considering making another one just for me to have at home, because the big one was demolished by the guests at our impromptu celebration for my companion's birthday.

FREE FROM
☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Yeast
☑ Wheat
☑ Nuts
☑ Dairy

CONTAINS
☒ Eggs
☒ Gluten
☒ Refined sugar products

INGREDIMENTS
Makes one 8 inch (20 centimetre) gateau

For the natural sponge cake:
  • 4½ ounces (130 grammes) white spelt flour
  • 1½ ounces (40 grammes) cornflour
  • 1½ teaspoons (8 millilitres) baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 4½ ounces (130 grammes) caster sugar
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) sunflower oil
  • 3 fluid ounces (90 millilitres) water
  • ½ teaspoon (3 millilitres) almond essence

For the pink sponge cake:

  • 4½ ounces (130 grammes) white spelt flour
  • 1½ ounces (40 grammes) cornflour
  • 1½ teaspoons (8 millilitres) baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 4½ ounces (130 grammes) caster sugar
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) sunflower oil
  • 3 fluid ounces (90 millilitres) water
  • ½ teaspoon (3 millilitres) almond essence
  • A few drops of red food colouring

For the marzipan and assembly:
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) ground almonds
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) icing sugar
  • About 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) of water to bind, only more if necessary
  • Few drops of almond essence
  • Sieved raspberry or apricot jam, for assembly

THIS TIME IN 2014: American Style Pancakes... also known as drop scones, ssh. (Wheat Free)
THIS TIME IN 2013: Cake Pops, a Maiden Voyage: Jaffa Cake Pops

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