Baking a Battenberg is actually pretty simple. All you need is a wodge of foil to divide your cake tin in half so you can bake one pink and one plain sponge at the same time.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
175g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
175g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
150g self-raising flour, sifted
12 tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
2 tbsp milk
A few drops of red food colouring
For the decoration:
100g apricot jam
450g natural coloured marzipan
Icing sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/fan oven 160°C. Grease the base and sides of a 18cm square cake tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment. Fold over a piece of foil to make a divider as high as the tin sides and that snugly fits down the middle of the tin, giving you two compartments. Set aside.
2. Beat the butter until soft and creamy, then beat in the sugar until fluffy and combined. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time. Sift in the flour and baking powder and add the ground almonds. Stir in to make a thick batter, then stir in the milk to loosen it slightly.
3. Spoon half the cake mixture into one of the tin compartments. Add a few drops of red food colouring to the remaining cake mixture and stir to get an even pink colour. Spoon into the remaining compartment and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 15 minutes, then turn out the sponges and cool completely on a wire rack.
4. To assemble, place one sponge on top of the other and trim with a sharp knife so they are both the same size. Slice in half to give two long strips of each colour. Set aside. Melt the jam in a pan over a low heat until runny. Pour through a sieve.
5. Dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan to make an 20cm x 30cm rectangle. Brush with apricot jam.
6. Lay a strip of pink cake on the marzipan 1/2cm from one of the rectangle\'s short edges. Brush the top and sides of the cake with apricot jam. Lay a strip of plain cake next to it and brush the top and sides with jam. Press them together. Place a strip of plain cake on top of the pink cake and brush with apricot jam. Place the final strip of pink cake on top of the plain cake and brush with apricot jam.
7. Carefully lift the marzipan up and fold over the cakes to enclose them, wrapping them up in marzipan. Fold up the short ends so they just cover the cake. When you\'re ready to serve, trim the ends of the cake to open them up and serve in slices. The cake will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container (wrap in clingfilm).
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