Belly-Friendly Battenburg Cake

I have the most amazing idea for a halloween cake, a BAT-tenburg cake! Geddit? Combining my love of terrible puns and, well, cake. Its perfect! Since, if all things go to plan, I will hopefully be celebrating Halloween with friends (perhaps celebrating isn’t quite right actually… is there a word for ‘using as an excuse to dress up and go crazy’?) I thought I’d better give a normal Battenburg a practice run, especially since its been a while since my last gluten-free cake, and boyy do they go wrong easily when I’m in charge!

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Ta Daaaa! Right!!? I’m so proud of how it looks, turned out perfectly šŸ™‚ I only modified slightly a recipe I found in an old GoodFood magazine to make it gluten-free (is it just me, or does everyone else feel a lot safer following something from a book or magazine? I’m always so scared of trying cake recipes I find on blogs, especially gluten-free ones. She says while writing a gluten-free recipe on her blog…I’m good at this self endorsement thing, me..). Anyway, I’m pleased to report there were no hiccups!

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Phwooooar, just look at that chequerboarding šŸ˜‰

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I went for a sort of quilt-look thing on the top since I had some excess marzipan. Think it looks kinda neat, on googling ‘Battenburg cake’ I can see that this was in fact thoroughly unoriginal of me, but hey, one step at a time! First I shall perfect actually making gluten-free edible before making it original (and boy, have I turned out some seriously inedible stuff recently – anyone else tried to make gluten-free crackers? Mine are always so gross šŸ˜¦ )

I should explain the ‘good 1/2 teaspoon’ measurements in the recipe: the original asked for a 8inch square tin, but I only have a 9inch one at home, so had to make a few changes to the ingredient weights: hence 1/2 teaspoon wasn’t quite enough but 3/4 teaspoon would have been too much. I need some more baking equipment…

Recipe

Gluten-free, Lactose-free Battenburg Cake

Ingredients

  • 200g Stork (or other baking margarine)
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 160g gluten-free self-raising flour mix (I used Doves’ farm – as always I know, so predictable – its a mix of rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat flour, and has raising agents and xanthan gum already added)
  • 60g ground almonds
  • good 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 2 tbsp almond milk (or other non-evil-lactose-containing milk)
  • good 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • good 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • red food colouring
  • yellow food colouring (actual measurements of the colouring depends on what you are using, I used Sainsbury’s liquid food colour and found about 1 teaspoon of each to be enough)
  • About a 1/3 of a jar apricot jam
  • 500g marzipan

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180Ā°C (160Ā°C fan oven)
  2. Line a 9inch square tin, using baking parchment to give a divide halfway across (see here. In fact, this whole post has very useful step-by-step picture instructions)
  3. Beat the Stork and sugar together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy
  4. One by one, add the eggs, adding one tablespoon of flour after each addition
  5. Mix in the rest of the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, almond milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth
  6. Take one half of this batter and put into another bowl, mixing in the almond extract and yellow food colouring (you shouldn’t need to add too much yellow, the batter is quite golden anyway)
  7. In the original half, add red food colouring until you get a nice, soft pink colour. I found the batters to be fairly stiff at this stage, but this doesn’t appear to have caused any problems with the bake
  8. Scrape the batters into your cake tin, one either side of the divide, and make vague attempts to flatten the top
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until springy and a cake skewer comes out clean
  10. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before taking out and cooling completely on a wire rack
  11. To assemble, trim the edges of the cakes (which I found to be lower in height than the middle) until your cakes are relatively uniform in height, and discard the trimmings. HAHA, of course you won’t discard them! Eat those delicious trimmings!
  12. Measure the height of your cake, and cut lengthways down the middle, to make 2 cuboids from each cake of the same width as height
  13. Roll out your marzipan into a square, until around 1.5-2mm thick, and wide enough to fit the whole way around your cake
  14. Heat up the apricot jam in a cup in the microwave or over the stove until liquidy
  15. In the middle of the marzipan square, brush a generous amount of the apricot jam
  16. Place one pink cuboid on the apricot jam, and brush either side of this cuboid with more jam
  17. Place one yellow cuboid next to this, and push gently together, so the jam sticks the two cake-cuboids together
  18. Brush the tops of these sponges generously with apricot jam
  19. Now place your remaining pink sponge on the yellow, brushing the sides with jam, and the remaining yellow sponge on the pink.
  20. Brush the entire outside of your Battenburg square (I feel it’s assembled enough now that we can call it that) with apricot jam, and gently lift the marzipan over either side, to meet at the top of your square, pushing everything together so it sticks
  21. Trim the edges of the marzipan to leave your beautiful chequerboard visible on either side, and trim the top to give a nice clean seam
  22. Turn the cake upside-down, hiding the seam….

IMAG00462Et Voila!!! Decorate as you please. I ended up cutting a slice off the cake as pictured above before serving, as you couldn’t see all the lovely apricot-jamminess holding the cakes together.
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Much better šŸ™‚ Enjoy!

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