Saturday, 29 October 2011

An illicit culinary lovechild...

Have you ever played that game, where you can breed two imaginary animals together and come up with something completely new and original (and usually ridiculous). For instance, my favourite creation is a Peep - a pink wooly creature with a wet snuffly nose and curly tail - the offspring of a pig and a sheep. You get the picture.

So imagine if you applied the game to baked goods... a world of possibilities!

A friend of mine celebrated her birthday last week, and since her favourite cake is Battenberg, it gave me the perfect opportunity to make one for the first time. But then I thought: "It can't be an ordinary Battenberg, surely?! What would you get if you crossed a Battenberg with a Cherry Bakewell...?"

Coconut and Cherry Bakewellberg Cake

For the cake:
4oz Stork
4oz Caster Sugar
4oz Self-raising flour
2 eggs
1oz dessicated coconut
1 oz ground almonds
10 glace cherries, processed with 1 tblsp water
Dash of red and yellow food colouring

For the frosting:
4 tblsp Stork
4 tblsp icing sugar, sieved
1 des. sp ground almonds
1/2 tsp almond essence

To decorate:
5 glace cherries, to decorate   
1 packet of natural marzipan, to decorate


1. Prepare (grease and line) a 6" x 4" cake tin, split into two partitions of 6" x 2". I am lucky enough to have recently invested in a square tin with removable dividers, which makes this stage all the easier. However, you can carefully fold foil-lined greaseproof paper to create a wall in the middle of your tin if you don't have one of these. Instructions can be found here:

2. In each of two separate bowls, cream half of the Stork and half of the sugar together until pale and creamy, and gradually add one beaten egg to each.

3. Add the coconut, processed cherries, red food colouring and half of the flour to one of the bowls, and stir thoroughly. Add the ground almonds, yellow food colouring and half of the flour to the other bowl, and stir thoroughly.  

4. Spoon the mixtures into the prepared tin and bake at 180 degrees celcius for about 20-30 minutes, then allow to cool on a wire rack.

5. In the meantime, make the frosting. Mix together all of the ingredients, then whisk with an electric whisk for about 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Set aside.

6. When the cakes are completely cooled, stack on top of each other, and cut down the middle, to create four evenly-sized strips. It may be necessary to trim the tops slightly if they have not risen evenly.

7. Roll out the marzipan on a surface lightly dusted with sieved icing sugar, until it's nice and thin and the right size to cover your Bakewellberg. I then covered the marzipan in a thin layer of frosting - enough so that the cake would adhere to it nicely. I then stacked the four sections on top of the marzipan (sticking with frosting), before bringing the marzipan up and around to cover it. I am sure that the received wisdon probably warns against this approach, to avoid getting crumbs in the surface of your marzipan and spoiling the outer layer of the cake. However, if you're careful, I think this is definitely a better way of getting a nice, neat, smooth finish than trying to drape the marzipan around a Bakewellberg that is only held together by frosting.

8. For the finishing touches, slice of the very ends of the cake so that is appears nice and neat, and the traditional squared pattern is visible. I then crimped the top two edges of the marzipan with my fingers. As well as giving a nice decorative finish, this also means that if your marzipan isn't perfectly tight, you can take up some of the slack in the crimping process. Finally, I added some halved glace cherries on top, as further decoration and to warn my friend that this was no ordinary Battenberg.

1 comment: