For the cake
- 115g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus a little extra for greasing
- 115g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 115g self-raising flour, sifted
- 50g ground almonds
- Few drops Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
- Few drops orange food colouring
- Few drops Star Kay White Orange Extract
- 4 tbsp orange marmalade, sieved and gently warmed
- A little cornflour, for dusting
- 350g marzipan
- 1 egg white, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas 3. Assemble the tin, making sure the dividers are firmly in place. Lightly grease the base and all the sides with butter and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, beating after each addition until well incorporated. Fold in the sifted flour and ground almonds until well mixed and then divide the cake mix evenly between two bowls.
- Add a few drops of vanilla extract to one bowl, and a few drops of orange food colouring and orange extract to the other, and mix until well incorporated. Spoon the vanilla mixture evenly between two of the sections in the cake tin. Repeat with the orange mixture.
- Using a small palette knife, make sure the mixture goes all the way into the corners and is perfectly level on top. Bake for 25 minutes or until well risen. The cakes are ready when a skewer inserted into the centre of each comes out clean. Remove the tin from the oven and leave the cakes to cool completely in the tin.
- Once completely cool, loosen the edges of the cakes with a clean palette knife. Remove the dividers and carefully lift each cake onto a clean board using a palette knife if needed. Make sure all of the cakes are the same height, and if any are slightly taller simply trim them down using a serrated knife.
- Using a pastry brush, brush one vanilla and one orange cake with warmed marmalade all over the sides, but not the ends. Stick these two cakes to each other lengthways. Repeat with the two remaining cakes, then place the vanilla cake on top of the first orange cake and the orange cake on top of the first vanilla cake to create a chequerboard effect.
- On a surface lightly dusted with cornflour, roll out 300g of the marzipan until it measures approx. 25 x 35cm. Carefully lift your Battenberg cake into the centre of the marzipan and wrap it tightly around the sponge, gently pressing the cut edges to seal. Turn the cake upside down to hide the seam of the marzipan underneath. Using a sharp knife, trim off each end of the marzipan-wrapped cake to neaten. Discard the trimmings.
- Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 balls and stick them to the top of the cake with the leftover marmalade. Using a clean pastry brush, brush the top of the cake with egg white and toast it very slightly with a cook’s blowtorch or under a preheated medium grill to give the traditional toasted effect.
Tip: Any leftover fondant will keep well in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.
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