Thursday, 11 December 2014

Marzipan: How To Make The Perfect Christmas Battenberg

Marzipan: How To Make The Perfect Christmas Battenberg

It’s Christmas time, and that means everyone is looking for cakes and bakes to make that incorporate marzipan. Sure, there’s your standard fruit Christmas cake, and maybe you’ll even try a Stollen, but why not give a festive twist to that classic marzipan cake: the Battenberg. We’ll show you how. And don’t worry, it really is one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever make.

Ingredients For Your Christmas Battenberg

To make this festive treat you’ll need the following ingredients:
 * 175g self-raising flour
 * 175g caster sugar
 * 175g butter
 * 3 eggs
 * ½ tsp vanilla extract
 * Red food colouring
 * Green food colouring
 * 500g white marzipan
 * Apricot jam

Baking Your Christmas Battenberg

Lots of people get spooked at the idea of creating a Battenberg. Something about the different coloured sponges convinces most baking enthusiasts that making a Battenberg is some kind of arcane art. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here’s a simple step by step guide to follow.

 Before you begin, preheat your oven to 190oC/375oF.
While the oven is heating grease a 20cm square cake tin with butter, then cut a strip of baking parchment that measures 30x20cm.

Make an 8cm high fold in the middle of the paper and then line the tin, keeping the fold in the centre. This ensures you can bake the two different coloured sponges simultaneously.

 Once you’ve done that it’s time to make the sponge mixture, which is simplicity itself. We’ll use a simple single-bowl approach.

 1. Add your butter, sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla extract to a food processor and blend until combined.

 2. Weigh your batter and then divide evenly between two bowls.

 3. Add some red food colouring to one half of the mixture and green to the other. Fold the colouring into each mixture until you have a smooth, well-blended colour.

 4. Pour the batter into the cake tin, ensuring that each is poured neatly into its side of the tin with the parchment fold between them.

 5. Pop the tin into the oven for about 25 mins.

 6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing around the outside of each sponge with a knife. Place the sponges on a wire rack and leave them to cool.

Assembling Your Christmas Battenberg

So now you have your two sponges it’s time to put it all together. Again, there’s nothing to be scared of here. Just take your time and you’ll have a perfect finish.

 1. Set your two sponges on a board and coat the top of each with apricot jam. Then cut each into oblong strips of the same dimensions.

 2. Take your marzipan and knead it until it’s soft and pliable. Dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan.

 3. Cut oblong strips from your marzipan the same size as the strips of sponge. Then fix them onto the sponge. Set aside one strip of sponge and one strip of marzipan.

 4. Layer your sponge and marzipan strips, fixing them together using apricot jam.

 5. Take your last piece of marzipan and toast it gently under a grill, be sure not to let it burn. You can emboss a pattern on it if you like.

 6. Fix the last strip of sponge to the top of the cake and then layer the toasted marzipan on with some apricot jam.

 See, making a delicious Christmas Battenberg really is simple.

So grab some marzipan and make your own in time for the 25th.

Happy Holidays!

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