Until recently, I had not heard of this cake. A British co-worker told me about
it about two months ago saying it was very good and she hadn't had one in ages. I was given a cookbook for my birthday after that and it happened to have a recipe for Battenburg cake and so I decided that I had to make it.
Battenberg cake is a light sponge cake which has a distinctive two-by-two
checkerboard pattern. The cake is covered in marzipan. These coloured sections are made by dyeing half of the cake mixture pink, and half yellow. The cakes are sandwiched together with apricot jam. The origin of the name is not clear, but one theory claims that the cake was created in honour of the marriage in 1884 of Queen Victoria's granddaughter to Prince Louis of Battenburg, with each of the four squares representing each of the four Battenberg princes: Louis, Alexander, Henry and Francis Joseph.
Marzipan is normally made with almond paste but I made a pistachio marzipan for this cake. I've never made marzipan before and this was the first recipe I found in one of my trusted cookbooks. I thought it was fitting since the cake was a Christmas gift to have a pinky-red cake and green marzipan - how festive!
I will say that this cake was a lot more work than I was expecting but after
eating it, it was worth the effort! Pistachio marzipan is delicious and the cake
is yummy too!
This blog will follow my adventures with cake, pastry and all things sweet!