Monday, 16 November 2009

Battenburg Heaven

I love Battenburg. In fact I love anything with an abundance of marzipan-y goodness. If I could have my dream piece of Christmas cake it would have 3cm thick marzipan and 1mm thick icing. Marzipan....mmmmm.

So, two of my faveish things in the world.....cupcakes... and Battenburg. How about an amalgamation of the two?? I've been tossing the idea of Battenburg cupcakes around in my head for a while and after catching the baking bug again last week with the raspberry choccie goodness I thought I'd try to get the idea from my head and into the muffin pan. They worked out pretty well for a first time out. Maybe a little tweaking required for next time but they were yummy and pretty and did indeed taste of Battenburg so I will declare them a success. Here they are in all their pink and yellow glory (terrible photos again, sorry):

Battenburg Cupcakes

and the inside, just to prove they looked Battenburg-y there too:

Battenburg Cupcakes_inside

Here's the recipe. It's a bit of a mish-mash of weights and measures I'm afraid, mostly because it's easier for me to think cake recipes in grams and frosting recipes in cups! Method in my madness I'm sure. If you want to convert them then I'd recommend you go here. That'll do the job.

Battenburg Cupcakes

For the cakes:

150g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
3 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
Red food colouring

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the flour, vanilla, eggs and milk and beat until smooth.
Split the mixture into two and add a drop of red food colouring to one half (I added one drop, next time I will probably add two so it's a little more pink).

Line a muffin pan with cake cases. Using two dessert spoons pick up a spoonful of each colour mixture and pour the pink mixture into one side of the cake case and the yellow into the other side at the same time (quite hard to do this without spilling which makes the cakecases look a little messy when baked, hopefully I'll have a steadier hand next time).

This mixture made 11 cupcakes but I could have made 12 if I'd been a little more even with the pouring. As a random tip if your mixture doesn't make enough to fill each mould in the cake pan fill the remaining ones half way with water. This will ensure the heat is distributed evenly still and the steam from the water also helps with rising).

Bake for 20-22 minutes at GM 4 (180oC, 350oF)

Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack.

For the Topping:

2 tbsp Apricot Jam
4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 almond extract
1 cup ground almonds
double cream

Melt the apricot jam in a saucepan until runny. Brush the tops of the cooled cake with the mixture (this would be optional I would think, I included it because I think the jam that normal adheres the marzipan to the cake in a Battenburg adds to the taste).

For the frosting:

Beat the butter until fluffy
Add the icing sugar a cup at a time until you get to quite a thick consistency (stop when it's quite thick).
Add some of the double cream and the almond and vanilla extracts and beat
Add about half of the ground almond and beat
Now keep adding icing sugar, ground almonds and double cream until you get to the consistency and sweetness that you want, thick enough to hold its shape but runny enough to pipe (difficult to be exact on this. If you taste it and it reminds you of over sweet marzipan you're on the right track).

Remember, the sweetness of the icing sugar will fade over time so make it sweeter than you think it needs to be if you don't want to be eating butter frosted cakes come the morning.

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, or spread on with a palette knife. I my head these had piping with a star/flower shaped nozzle but I need a new piping back so they just ended up with the circle nozzle. I don't think I'll lose any sleep over it though.

If you're really sad and phaffy when it comes to decorating your cupcakes (as I clearly am) then you could go the whole hog and make the little marzipan Battenburg toppers. If you want to make these then take some natural marizpan, cut three equal pieces about a half inch thick. Add a drop of red food colouring to one piece. (Use some icing sugar to ensure you don't stick to the marzipan and to "flour" your work surface). Split the pink marizpan and one of the yellow blocks in two and then roll each piece into a sausage (make sure they're equal thickness). Flatten the four sausages so they're cube shaped and stack them so they look like a Battenburg (yellow on pink/pink on yellow) using some water to stick them together. Roll out the remaining yellow piece into a rectangle wide enough to wrap around all four square pieces. Lightly rub the surface of the flat piece with water and wrap round the squared sausages. Seal along one edge. Now carefully slice the mini Battenburg "log" into pieces and use them to top your cupcakes.

Eat them.

They went down a treat at work, with my boss declaring (once again) that they are the best cupcake's to date (she says that with EVERY new flavour!). I have to say I'm particularly proud of them because this is the first time I've really had a recipe I can call my own to post. Go me!

I did promise you scrapbook pages too didn't I?? Oh, go on then......


Evolution_Close up 1


Model Behaviour

See, I do put herma to paper around here sometimes. Honestly.

Right, I'm off to do the work the I brought home with me tonight (being as we're being inspected (audited) at work tomorrow and I've had the sudden and scary realisation that there are no work instructions for my role. Eek!!). Roll on Wednesday at 4.30pm when the inspectors have left the building and there won't be a damn thing we can do about their verdict!!



Lou said...

As a HUGE marzipan fan myself, all I can say is DROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!! And I want to see Xmas cake round at yours with the promised 3" of marzipan OK?! :P

Georgina said...

Oh I too love Battenberg cake - I am going to have to try your receipe! Yum. Look forward to seeing your JYC pages too

Anonymous said...

Phwoar!!! First, at your incredible looking marzipan cupcakes (i MUST try this recipe) and second at your stunning layouts! I adore the layering and the corrugated card and everything on the first one and the second one is SO sweet!

SarahLP x
PS thank you for your lovely comment on my blog!

Anonymous said...

Just found this post from a google image search - amazing!! I never would have thought of battenburg cupcakes - what a fantastic idea!