I saw a lovely video on Home Cooking Adventure for a Chocolate & Almond Battenburg cake. Now Battenburg is an almond cake, in two colours, pink and yellow and covered with marzipan. This version has chocolate as one colour and flavour and almond as the ‘yellow’ colour and flavour. For the marzipan a chocolate and almond version was created too. So this has the same checkerboard pattern, but with different colours and flavours.
The process was a bit messy, particularly for me, and you do have to trim the cakes, leaving you with leftovers to eat, but when it is complete it looks and tastes very good indeed.
The size of the quarters is dependent on how the cakes rise, as you have to trim them so that you have four quarters of equal size to be stuck together using apricot jam. I am pleased to say that despite it being a messy process mine turned out very well and it tastes wonderful.
For the cakes:
- 170g softened unsalted butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs(large in USA)
- 125g plain flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 5g baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 30ml milk
For the almond batter:
- 3/4 tsp almond extract
For the chocolate batter:
- 16g cocoa powder
- 30ml milk
- 15g caster sugar
For brushing on the cakes:
- 180g apricot jam,
For the chocolate marzipan:
- 200g ground almonds
- 120g icing sugar
- 16g cocoa powder
- 60g apricot jam, strained
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350 F
- Grease an 8 inch square cake tin and line with parchment paper, with an aluminium foil also covered in parchment paper to divide the tin into two.
- In a bowl mix the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt to combine.
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix to combine.
- Add the flour mixture gradually, adding the milk before the last addition of flour, and mix to combine.
- Divide the batter into two equal parts.
- Add the almond extract to one part and mix to combine.
- Mix the cocoa powder, milk and sugar to make a chocolate paste.
- Add the chococlate paste to the second half of the batter and mix to combine.
- Place the two batters into opposing halves of the cake tin and level off.
- Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer poked into the centres comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for about ten minutes and then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- When cakes are completely cooled place trim the tops to flatten, and place one on top of the other and trim to equal size.
- Cut each in half lengthways.
- Place a strip of chocolate cake on a working surface, brush the top and sides with apricot jam and place an almond cake next to it. Repeat with the other strips of cake on top. Make sure to brush each with apricot jam.
- Prepare the almond paste. Place the almond flour (ground almonds), powdered sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl of a food processor. Grind to combine. Add apricot jam and almond extract and continue grinding until it comes together. Knead a bit into your hands to come together.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the marzipan between two sheets of parchment paper, into a thin layer.
- Cut the almond paste into a a rectangle large enough to completely cover the cake on all sides, but not on the ends.
- Brush the top of the cake with apricot jam and place it top side down on the marzipan.
- Brush the remaining three sides with apricot jam.
- Tightly wrap the cake in marzipan.
- Trim the ends and refrigerate until ready to serve.