Gluten-free Battenberg

23 Mar

img_3607Here is my beautiful Battenberg and it didn’t last long enough for me to take another! It will turn out at least 4x larger than those piddly little ones you get in the shops and it will taste 100% better- mostly because the marzipan will be moist and fresh, not dry!

Ingredients

  • 175g soft butter
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 medium egg
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • Few drops red food colouring (must be bake stable, or yours will turn out brown like mine! I don’t think Supermarkets sell this and I am intending on a trip to a specialist cake decorating shop).
  • Apricot jam
  • Block of yellow marzipan

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/gas 4 and line the base and sides of a Battenberg tin. If you don’t have one, then you’ll need to improvise with a roughly 20cm long rectangular tin. Fold some foil down the middle to make a divider.
  2.  To make the sponge, put the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and almond extract in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until the mix comes together smoothly. Take half and put it into the tin. Then colour the other half with the red food colouring, you may find you need more to get it pink enough. But start with less, as you can’t take it away and you don’t want a blood red sponge!
  3. Scrape into the tin, spreading to the corners. You will have 2 colours- 1 yellow and 1 pink- you cut them later. I had some extra sponge mix (Please don’t waste it! Put it into some fairy cases and bake them along with your sponge- they will probably need less time). Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins – when you poke in a skewer, it should come out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  4. When cool, cut each piece exactly in half, so you have 4 pieces of sponge.
  5. To assemble, heat the jam in a microwave until runny. I don’t bother to sieve it because I’m not that fussy, but you can if you like. Trim the edges of your sponge so that you have roughly even cubes when viewed from the end (but keep them in long rectangular ‘planks’. Again, I’m not fussy enough to measure or be too exact about this! You can use this leftover sponge to put in a trifle- just pop it in a freezer bag and freeze until needed. Or just eat it!
  6. Take 1 x yellow slice and 1 x pink slice and stick them together. Then repeat with the opposite colours to get your classic Battenberg- sandwiching all sides together with apricot jam.
  7. Roll out the marzipan block on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to fit your cake, roughly 0.5cm thick. Brush the whole outside of the assembled cake with apricot jam.
  8. Lift your cake onto the rolled out marzipan and turn the whole thing over to stick each side. Crimp together the overlap so it holds and put this join underneath so no-one sees it. My Grandma used to decorate the top with grace cherry pieces and make a pretty pattern by pinching the edges to crimp them. I just wanted to get stuck into eating mine!
  9. Keep in an airtight tin. Mine didn’t last the week. I’m not sure about freezing this one because of the marzipan.
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