I love challenges, especially the ones that make you feel the adrenaline rush. This month’s Daring Baker’s challenge was to bake battenberg cake. I’m a vegetarian by brought up and by choice but I do eat eggs in concealed form as in cakes and muffins. When this month’s challenge was announced I was clearly awe struck by the pictures and somehow felt that this one can be caked only by professional bakers and not me. You know thoughts like this usually starts a small pep talk with in me to dare like a real Daring Baker.
I should say I thoroughly enjoyed baking this cake and has become my family favorite. The cake was pretty straight forward to make with no drama or events. The niche part of the challenge was rolling the chocolate plastique and covering the cake in them.
My kids were so impatient in tasting them that I had to virtually laser proof them until I could take some pictures. I could see the mad rush for the cake when I finally had a slice to taste. The challenge and the work involved is all worth it. Thanks to Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! who 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. What a lovely challenge…don’t you think?
Unsalted Butter — 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks), softened and cut in cubes
Caster Sugar — 3/4 cup
Self-Raising Flour — 1 1/4 cups (or All purpose flour 1-1/4 cups + 1-3/4 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp salt)
Eggs — 3 large, room temp
Ground Almonds — 1/2 cup (ground rice can be substituted)
Baking Powder — 3/4 tsp
Vanilla Extract — 1/2 tsp
Almond Extract — 1/4 tsp
Green Food Coloring, paste, liquid, or gel — as needed
Vanilla Frosting — 1/3 cup
Dark Chocolate — 80 gms
White Chocolate — 120 gms
Light Corn Syrup — 3.5 Tbsp
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 8″ square baking tin with butter. Line the tin with parchment paper creating a divider with parchment paper and foil so that each side of the tin can be used to bake two different batters at once.
2. Whisk together dry ingredients (self-raising flour, baking powder). Beat butter and sugar well, add in eggs and beat until fluffy. Now add the wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients and beat until the batter is well combined and smooth.
3. Spoon half the batter to one part of the baking tin. Add few drops of green food color to the remaining batter and mix until the color is well distributed. Adjust the color as needed. Spoon the green batter in to the other half of the baking tin.
4. Smooth the surface of the batter with a spatula or back of the spoon, making sure that the batter is in each corner of the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cake is well risen and springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean (it should shrink away from the sides of the pan).
5. Let it cool in the tin for few mins, transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Once completely cool, trim the edges of the cake with a long serrated knife and cut each colored sponge in half length ways, so that you are left with four long strips of the sponge cake. Arrange the strips and trim as necessary to form a checkered pattern, with each colored sponge cake alternating in the bottom and top.
6. Spoon vanilla frosting in between the checkered pattern, sticking the cake together(one yellow, to one green. On top one green next to one yellow). Add the frosting on the remaining 3 sides. Let it set for few minutes.
1. Melt both milk and dark chocolate together in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally and when the chocolate is completely melted, remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.
2. Stir in light corn syrup/glucose syrup/golden syrup, it will seize up immediately, just keep stirring until mixed and it comes away from the side of the bowl.
3. Transfer the chocolate into a sealable bag, spread the chocolate out then seal the bag. Leave overnight or refrigerate for about 2 hours until completely firm.
4. After the cake is ready to be decorated with plastique, take out the plastique from the bag and knead on a surface dusted with powdered sugar, at first it will just break, but as you knead, it will warm up and start to become pliable. Knead until its pliable enough to roll or mould, 5-10 mins.
5. Carefully cover the plastique over the cake, making sure the join is either neatly in one corner or underneath the cake once turned over. Carefully flip the cake over so that seam is under and score the top of the cake with a knife and pinch the corners with your fingers to decorate. Neaten the ends of the cake and remove excess chocolate plastique in the ends to reveal the checkered pattern. Enjoy!!!
Congratulations!!!! You have finally done baking the battenberg cake, now sit down with a slice of cake and enjoy the goodness with a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
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