A new season of the Great British Bake Off started last week and it is one of my favourite tv programs. Several of my friends have told me before that I should apply to go on it, but making a fool of myself in front of thousands of viewers does not sound like my idea of fun. Instead I thought that, in order to test my skill and improve my baking, I would try a much safer option and just bake at home and then post on here. So what I am going to do is the technical bake which they do each week. The first week's technical bake was Mary Berry's coffee and walnut battenburg and so that is this post is about.
I had never previously made a battenburg cake before, always sticking to more simple styles of cake, so this was a bit of a challenge. The part of the recipe which I found the most strange was the lining of the tin so that it was separated into two halves in order to cook both cakes at once. It was not as difficult as I thought however and I managed. This is a picture of the cakes in the tin having just come out of the oven.
I was very stressed out at this point because, not only were my cakes very thin, but one was also bigger than the other. I think that part of the thinness was due to my cake tin being a tiny bit bigger than the one Mary Berry recommends and so I'm going to blame that and not my own incompetence *cough*. Anyway it is not too big a deal with battenburg because they need to have bits trimmed off anyway to make them exactly the right size and shape.
After I had trimmed the cakes to size the rest went fine, I cut them in half and stuck them together with buttercream then wrapped it in marzipan and decorated the top, all went fine. This is the finished product.
I realize that the front of the cake is still slightly more rectangular than square but I am still blaming the tin for that, at any rate I am proud of my efforts, I usually don't bother with making my cakes look pretty, just as long as they taste nice, something which I have to change now that I have a blog with pictures on it. I don't have Mary and Paul to judge my cake and tell me all of its faults but I don't think it is too bad an effort. I do realise though that I am at a very great advantage compared to the contestants on the Great British Bake Off since I had the full recipe and no time pressure but shh.
I'm not one for wastage and so I was quite unhappy about the poor discarded strips of cake that I had to trim off. My sister and I came up with a very cunning plan to deal with this however and, along with a few scraps of leftover marzipan and a tiny bit of coffee buttercream, we decided to make a baby battenburg. My sister made it while I directed her, I think she did a very good job with the resources she had and I have named her work the 'baby Frankenstein's monster battenburg' because it was made using the pieces of other battenburg.
If you want the recipe for this cake this is the link http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/coffee_and_walnut_88342