Bat­ten­berg cake

The Irish Times Magazine - - FOOD -

piece of card­board in the fold, sel­lotape to cre­ate an up­right per­pen­dic­u­lar di­vider. Now grease the tin and line with the di­vided compartments.

Us­ing an elec­tric mixer, cream the but­ter and sugar to­gether un­til pale and fluffy.

On a slow whisk­ing speed, grad­u­ally add in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla essence. Gen­tly fold in the flour un­til fully in­cor­po­rated. Di­vide the mix­ture in half into two sep­a­rate bowls ( weigh each half for equal quan­ti­ties of bat­ter).

Insert a clean skewer into the food colour­ing ( paste or gel) and add to one half of the mix to give a strong pink colour. Leave the bat­ter in the sec­ond bowl plain.

Pour bat­ters into sep­a­rate sides of the tin. Bake in a pre­heated oven for 20- 25 min­utes or un­til slightly risen and a skewer in­serted into the cen­tre comes out clean.

Trans­fer the cake to a wire rack to cool. Use a ser­rated knife to cut the sponge into four neat long fin­gers equal in size. While match­ing up op­po­site colours, trim away un­even edges to en­sure they fit to­gether as a square block.

To as­sem­ble, heat the jam and sieve it to re­move any lumps. Gen­tly spread the jam along the edges of the cake slices be­ing joined to­gether. Press the pieces to­gether firmly.

To wrap in marzi­pan, dust ic­ing sugar over a sheet of parch­ment pa­per on a work sur­face. Thinly roll out a rec­tan­gle of marzi­pan ( four times the width of the cake). Spread jam over one length of the cake and po­si­tion the jam- cov­ered side on the marzi­pan to one side of the rec­tan­gle. Spread more jam over the re­main­ing long sides and firmly roll the cake over to­wards the op­po­site edge, keep­ing the edges square while wrap­ping it tightly in the marzi­pan.

Trim and form a neat seam un­der the base of the cake. Slice ei­ther end to ex­pose a de­light­ful cross- sec­tion of the colour­ful squares. Try dif­fer­ent flavour­ings of the sponges. Add 1/ 2 tsp al­mond essence to the plain sponge mix­ture or freeze dried rasp­berry pow­der to the pink sponge ( which will also sub­sti­tute as a nat­u­ral food colour­ing).

Harry Weir Pho­tog­ra­phy

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