You'd Batten Berg-lieve It...

You'd Batten Berg-lieve It...

Coffee and Walnut Battenberg

The Boys Do Bake Off - Series 2, Ep.1 - Cake Week

Like many of the 'classics', the origin of the Battenberg is hazy to say the least. What we do know is that the Battenberg cake first appears in print in the late 19th century, most likely as a celebration of the marriage of Princess Victoria (grand-daughter of Queen Victoria) to Prince Louis of Battenberg. The 'traditional' English version is normally pink and yellow sponge joined with jam with a marzipan covering. American 'Checkerboard' cake (referring to the distinctive alternating pattern) is often a chocolate and vanilla pairing joined with rich buttercream.

Today's recipe comes courtesy of Mary Berry and and The Great British Bake Off and kicks off series 2's technical challenges. The flavour combination, like the style of cake, is a retro throwback that is sure to put a smile on the face of any big kid over the age of 30!

We start with the simplest of mixtures, an all-in-one. After a few minutes in the mixer we have a basic almond sponge mix. This is divided almost in two as one half will have additional bulk from the walnuts. The mix with walnuts also gets a coffee kick in the form of Camp coffee extract, although Mary's recipe uses instant coffee. The other mix gets flavoured with vanilla.

We've opted to cook our cakes in a Battenberg tin, but if you get creative with greaseproof paper you can achieve a similar result. Our tin is a fantastic Silverwood tin that requires a simple coating of butter and light dusting of flour (no fiddly lining here!). Bake until the cakes spring back then leave to cool completely.

After a little trim our cakes are coated lengthways with coffee buttercream. We rolled out our marzipan and wrapped our ever so slightly oblong, cake, using more buttercream to help it stick. To finish, we did a classic crimp and decorated with walnut halves.

Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!

Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!

The City Churches of Sir Christopher Wren

The City Churches of Sir Christopher Wren