Last week our October copy of Crumbs Magazine popped through the office door and leafing through the pages I spotted this recipe for gluten free battenburg by Bridget Purcell from the Batch#5 bakery. Having tried their yummy brownies (my local bakery – Joe’s Bakery – stocks a range of their gluten free cakes) I was keen to try out this recipe. I’ve fancied making a gluten free one for ages, since I saw them being made on The Great British Bake Off a couple of years ago and as I love a good baking challenge I thought I’d give this tea time classic a bash.
Gluten Free Battenberg
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
175g salted butter, at room temperature.
175g caster sugar
3 free range eggs
130g gluten free self raising flour
45g ground almonds
½ tsp almond extract
Red food colouring for baking
8 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
500g readymade marzipan
6 tsp icing sugar (for rolling)
Preheat the oven to 180 C and butter a 20cm square cake tin. Cut a strip of non stick baking parchment to 20cm x 30cm. Fold it in half widthways then fold both pieces back to make a flap that’s the same height as the tin. From the side the folded shape looks like an upside-down letter T. Use this to line the tin making sure that the flap is placed exactly in the centre to make a division right down the middle of the tin.
Cream together the butter and sugar until they turn soft light and fluffy. This will make your cake light and fluffy. I used an electric mixer otherwise this would have taken ages.
Crack 2 of the eggs into a small bowl then add to the mix along with the flour. Mix until just incorporated. Then add the final egg along with the ground almonds and almond extract, mix again until fully incorporated. (adding the eggs in two parts keeps the air in the mix).
Split the mixture into two bowls. To one of the bowls add some red food colouring a couple of drips at a time mixing in between until you get a light pink colour.
Supporting the paper spoon each cake mixture into each side of your prepared tin. Pink on one side, plain on the other. Then smooth the top of the mix so the cake cooks evenly.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the sponges have risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then slide a palette knife around the outside of the sponges and turn them out onto a wire rack. If the cakes have baked unevenly don’t panic just press them down lightly to level them out. Leave them until they are completely cooled.
Trim off the edges so they are straight and identical then half them lengthways to make four long rectangles. The cross section should be a square, with the width the same as the depth.
Dust a flat surface with icing sugar and roll out your marzipan ready for the cake. It will need to be 20cm x 40cm in dimension and about 5mm thick. This should be large enough to wrap your cake completely. Warm the jam in the microwave until it is runny.
To assemble the cake take a plain cake rectangle and with a pastry brush, brush the top with hot jam. Place a pink rectangle on top and press into place. Take the remaining pink cake rectangle and brush the top with jam. Place the plain rectangle on top and press into place. Brush the side of one of your stacks with jam and push both together to form a square checkerboard pattern when viewed from the end of the cake.
Brush the top of the cake with jam and then turn it upside down on to the marzipan. Brush the rest of the sides of the cake (leave the ends) and wrap the marzipan tightly around the cake. Pressing it firmly to stick it to the sides of the cake. Press the ends of the marzipan together to make a firm join, turn it so the join is on the bottom and then cut off the excess.
Chill the cake for 15 minutes in the fridge so that the hot jam sets. Then slice and serve with a nice cup of tea.
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