Traditional Battenberg Cake

The first recipe for a Battenberg cake was published by Frederick Vine in 1898 in his book “Saleable Shop Goods” and so it is possible that this cake was used for the Royal Celebration in 1884 and was popularized as a result. There is something about a Battenberg Cake, with its faint aroma of almonds, that is aesthetically appealing to adults and children alike. This month, try this fun recipe coming from England— a checkered sponge cake held together with jam and wrapped in marzipan.

INGREDIENTS:
• 5 1/4 oz. butter (softened, plus extra for greasing)
• 5 1/4 oz. caster sugar
• 3 large eggs (beaten together)
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 5 1/4 oz. self-rising flour
• 1 oz. milk
• 2 drops of pink food coloring
• 2 3/4 oz. apricot jam (warmed with 2 drops of water)
• 7 oz. marzipan (ready-rolled)

PREPARATION:
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a large baking bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Slowly add the eggs, continuing to beat with the butter and sugar mix; resist the temptation to add the eggs too fast to avoid curdling the cake. Add the vanilla extract and stir. Sieve the flour into the baking bowl, along with the milk, and continue beating until smooth. Place half of the mixture in another bowl, add the food coloring a little at a time until you have a color you like. Stir well. Grease a 6-inch square cake tin and divide into two by placing a thick layer of aluminum foil down the center. Put the pink mixture into one side and the plain cake the other. Place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Cut each cake to the same size, then cut each cake in half lengthways. Take a pink cake and brush one side with the warmed jam. Place a yellow piece next to it, jam side together and push gently together. Brush the top surface with jam and place a piece of yellow cake atop a pink piece and vice versa. Brush all the outside edges with more jam. Brush the rolled marzipan with a little jam and wrap it all around the cake, hiding the seam underneath. Trim away any excess. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Serve and enjoy!
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