Sunday, 15 July 2012

Battenberg Cake

Once upon a midnight dreary, while we pondered long and weary,
Over many a cake and what to bake,
Our minds settled for the chequered log
Whose only sight our jaws made drop.

Thus began the epic journey of Divine Cherry's Battenberg Cake. And what a journey it was. At first, there was reticence, fear and uncertainty. After all, the Battenberg is a worthy foe. One heart and one mind, Divine Cherry and Celestial Dragon studied the enemy from every angle, analysing its every strengths and weaknesses: upper left hand, lower right hand, upper right hand, lower left hand; its enrobing cloak; the sweet-moist texture; the assemblage. Then, after the initial fear was overcome, there appeared in Divine Cherry's heart a sense of challenge, of rivalry with all those who before her had managed to slay the beast (although the actual slaying was done by Celestial Dragon). With the challenge came the will to fight, to go on, to tackle the obstacle and surmount it, just as she had, previously, managed to conquer the insidious twists and turns of the croissants.
This is the story of how Divine Cherry was able to perform such a feat, how her capable hands, besmeared with dough and paste and the lust to knead everything into submission, to mould and shape and create her own Battenberg (some equate the Battenberg with the universe; personally, I think that's going too far--although I can see a case for it, for is there not contained, in the fourfold square, the essence of all that is not round, that is to say, nothing at all? If the Battenberg is thus -literally- Void squared, can it not be thought of as the universe itself? And conversely, is it not the root of all that is?) were able to come to terms with the very principle of ultimate pleasure, both aesthetic and culinary. Needless to say, then, that the result was phenomenal. Celestial Dragon, to this day, relishes the memory of that victory over the forces of impossible bakery, for the impression it has left on his tastebuds has wandered all the way into the tips of his whiskers so that the left whisker has now turned green from the pistachio and the right brown from the chocolate.
As always, divinities ought to set an example. That is why you will find the recipe here below. Not because Divine Cherry and Celestial Dragon expect you to do it, but rather because they give you the possibility do so should you wish to. It is said in the scriptures (of A Posteriori Baking - How To Train Your Tongue) that whosoever manages to bake a proper Battenberg shall be elevated by their loved one into a new sphere of heaven. It certainly was the case for Divine Cherry and Celestial Dragon.

Blog-checking lines:  Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.

Battemberg cake  recipe adapted from the June Daring Bakers challenge recipe proposed by Mandy

- 175g  unsalted butter, softened & cut in cubes
- 175g  Caster Sugar
- 175g  Plain Flour
- 1and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 3 Large Eggs, room temp
- 35g Ground Almonds
- 35 g Ground Pistachios
- 2 teaspoons of cocoa
 -40 g of chocolate cut in tiny pieces

Preheat the oven at 180C.  Butter and flour a baking tray. Create a divide with some kitchen foil. Make a rectangle and then cover it with baking paper. Locate it in the middle of the tray, so that you can house the two mixture together (see picture).
Prepare the two mixture.  Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder. In a separate bowl,mix the butter with the eggs. Then mix together all the ingredients until just combined. Divide the mixture in two bowls. Add to one half the almonds, the cocoa and the pieces of chocolate. Add to the other half the ground pistachios.
Pour the chocolate mixture into one side of the prepared tray, and the pistachio batter in the other half. Bake for 25-30 min until well raised and cooked.
Plastic chocolate
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 60 g glucose
Melt the chocolate in a pan over simmering water. When cool add the glucose. Let it cool completely and wrap in cling film. Store in the frige. When needed, warm it up with your hands and use it.

Butter cream
- 250 g icing sugar
- 125 g butter
Mix the icing sugar with the soft butter. Mix until well combined.

Trim the edges of the cakes so to have to rectangles of the same sizes. Cut each cake in half, lengthwise, so as to have 4 long stripes. Trim again the edges to pair them. Glue the stripes together with a thin layer of butter cream, alternating the colours (one black stripe next to one green one). Spread a thin layer of butter cream over all the sides of the cake.
Roll out the plastic chocolate with the help of some icing sugar. Wrap the cake with the plastic chocolate sheet. Neaten up the edges of the cake. 

Battemberg Cake ricetta adattata da quella proposta da Mandy per la sfida di giugno dei Daring Bakers 
- 175 g burro non salato, a temperature ambiente e tagliato a pezzetti
- 175g zucchero
- 175 g farina semplice
- 1 e ½ cucchiaino di lievito in polvere
- 3 uova grandi a temp ambiente
- 35 g di mandorle a farina
- 35 g di pistacchi a farina
- 2 cucchiaini di cacao
- 40 g di cioccolato fondente finemente tritato

Riscaldare il forno a 180C.  Imburrare e infarinare una teglia da forno. Prepare un divisorio con della carta stagnola: creare un rettangolo, sistemarlo nel mezzo della teglia e coprirlo con carta forno (come in foto).
Preparere l’impasto. Mescolare farina, zucchero e lievito. In un’alta ciotola mescolare uova e burro. Unire i due composti, e mescolare poco solo per incorporare. Dividere l’impasto in due metà. Aggiungere il cacao, le mandorle e i pezzetti di cioccolato a una metà e i pistacchi all’altra metà. Versare il composto al cioccolato in una metà della teglia e il composto ai pistacchi nell’altra metà. Cuocere in forno per 25-30 minuti fino a che sarà ben lievitato e cotto.
Cioccolato plastico
- 200 g cioccolato fondente
- 60 g glucosio
Fondere il cioccolato a bagnomaria, aggiungere il glucosio. Aspettare che si raffreddi un po’ e poi conservarlo coperto da pellicola in frigo. Al momento dell’utilizzo, riscaldarlo con le mani e lavorarlo come pongo.

Crema al burro
 - 250 g zucchero a velo
- 125 g burro
 Incorporare lo zucchero a velo al burro morbido fino ad ottenere una consistenza cremosa.

Sfilare i bordi delle due torte in modo da renderle della stessa esatta dimensione. Tagliarle nel senso della lunghezza in modo da ottenere 4 lunghi rettangoli. Incollare i rettangoli l’uno con l’altro (uno nero affianco a uno chiaro etc in modo da alternare i colori), usando un sottile strato di crema al burro come collante.  Spalmare un sottile strato di crema al burro anche sui lati esterni della torta (servirà per tenere insieme il cioccolato plastico di copertura). Stendere il cioccolato plastico con un mattarello, in modo da ottenere un foglio abbastanza sottile. Avvolgere la torta nel foglio di cioccolato. Sfilare le estremità in modo da parificarle.

And spread the Mess


  1. Nice recipe. I wish I had a piece of this cake right now!

    1. Thank you Eftychia, you are always very nice!