Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Celebration Cake

Ever see those checkerboard cakes and wonder how they were made?  Well, this month for Daring Bakers we made a Battenburg cake, which has a checkerboard-like pattern.

 Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.  She chose this cake in honor of the Jubilee celebration in England.  I had a different celebration in mind.  My friend Christina, and fellow resident, was pregnant (she had a beautiful baby girl just two days ago!) and we had a shower for her at work in early June.  PERFECT for this neat cake.  She loves coffee, so I decided to make a coffee/vanilla cake.

  I thought I had some marzipan at home, so I didn't get the needed ingredients for the chocolate plastique...yeah, no!  No marzipan.  So, I sort of had to cheat on the covering...but we'll forget about that.  I used an 8X8 dish and split it with waxed paper.  Somehow, the coffee batter decided it would overtake the vanilla side and, when I checked on the cake, it was quite lopsided.  I was able to straighten it out enough to not matter (notice that the coffee part had three sections and the vanilla two!).
  In the end, I think it turned out well.  Christina was happy with it and D enjoyed it as well.  When I showed my parents, then were quite impressed and thought the cake tasted great!  All in all, it was a good challenge and I might would make the cake again. 

Coffee and Walnut Battenberg:

Servings: +- 8
¾ cup (1½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened & cut in cubes
¾ cup Caster Sugar
1¼ cups Self-Raising Flour
 3 Large Eggs, room temp
½ cup Ground Almonds (I used my coffee grinder to grind the almonds!)
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
3 tsp or 1 Tbs (15 ml) Milk
 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1½ tsp Instant Coffee Powder or Granules

To Finish
½ cup (1 stick) 115gm /4 oz Unsalted Butter
2 cups / 225gm /8 oz Powdered (Icing/Confectioners') Sugar
½ tsp / 2 gm Instant Coffee
1½ tsp (7½ ml) Milk or Cream
1 cup / 225gm /8 oz Marzipan, natural or yellow

1. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/160°C Fan Assisted/Gas Mark 4
2. Grease an 8”/20cm square baking tin with butter
3. Line the tin with parchment paper, creating a divide in the middle with the parchment (or foil)
- Tip: See photos or watch video above for detailed instructions
4. OR Prepare Battenberg tin by brushing the tin with melted butter and flouring
5. Whisk together dry ingredients (except walnuts and coffee) and combine with the wet ingredients in a large bowl (except vanilla and milk) and beat together just until the ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth
6. Spoon half the mixture into a separate bowl and stir in the vanilla, 1½ teaspoons milk and chopped walnuts
7. Spoon the walnut mixture into the one side of the prepared baking tin
8. Dissolve the coffee in the remaining 1½ teaspoon milk and add to the remaining batter, stir until just combined
9. Spoon the coffee batter into the other half of the prepared baking tin
10. Smooth the surface of the batter with a spatula, making sure batter is in each corner
11. Bake for 25-30mins until the cake is well risen, springs back when lightly touched and a
toothpick comes out clean (it should shrink away from the sides of the pan)
12. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack
13. Once completely cool, trim the edges of the cake with a long serrated knife
14. Cut each sponge in half lengthways so that you are left with four long strips of sponge
15. Neaten the strips and trim as necessary so that your checkered pattern is as neat and even as possible
16. Combine the buttercream ingredients together and mix until combined
17. Spread a thin layer of buttercream onto the strips of cake to stick the cake together in a checkered pattern (one yellow next to one pink. On top of that, one pink next to one yellow)
- Tip: See photos for detailed instructions
18. Dust a large flat surface with icing sugar then roll the marzipan in an oblong shape that is wide enough to cover the length of the cake and long enough to completely wrap the cake
19. Spread the top of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream
20. Place the cake on the marzipan, buttercream side down
21. Spread buttercream onto the remaining three sides
22. Press the marzipan around the cake, making sure the join is either neatly in the one corner, or will be underneath the cake once turned over
23. Carefully flip the cake over so that the seam is under the cake and score the top of the cake with a knife, you can also crimp the top corners with your fingers to decorate
24. Neaten the ends of the cake and remove excess marzipan by trimming off a small bit of cake on both ends to reveal the pattern

1 comment:

Ruth Ellis said...

This looks really yummy! And just think - your coffee cake spilling over gave you an extra strip for sampling!!!