An old-fashioned Chocolate and Vanilla Battenberg Cake makes a spectacular dessert for a special-occasion tea.
Chocolate and Vanilla Battenberg Cake
Yield: 12 to 14 servings • Preparation: 1 hour • Bake: 25 minutes • Cool: 1 hour • Stand: 8 hours
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- ¾ cup salted butter
- ¾ cup caster or extrafine sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1½ cups self-rising flour
- ⅓ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup apricot jam
- 1 (24-ounce) package white vanilla fondant, such as Wilton
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Spray a 13-x-9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, and spray again.
- Using a piece of aluminum foil approximately 12 inches long, make a foil divider for pan by folding foil in half, and then fold in half again. Fold in short ends to make a 13-x-3-inch reinforced foil rectangle. Referring to Photo 1 on facing page, stand foil rectangle on a long side in the center of pan.
- Fold a 15-inch length of parchment paper in half widthwise, and then fold each end back the other way approximately 3 inches from first fold. Place parchment paper over foil divider in prepared pan. Spray parchment paper again. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, folding to combine.
- Divide batter into 2 equal portions. Spread one portion into one side of prepared pan. To remaining portion of batter, add cocoa powder, folding to combine. Spread batter into remaining side of prepared pan. Tap pan on countertop to reduce air bubbles.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan.
- Turn out cakes onto a cutting surface. (If either cake has a domed top, cut level, using a long serrated bread knife.) Wrap securely in plastic wrap, and let stand for at least 8 hours so that cake settles and will be easier to work with.
- Unwrap cakes, and place on a cutting board. Using a long, serrated knife, cut cakes lengthwise into 2 equal pieces, approximately 11½ x 1¾ inches. Trim uneven edges, making sure that all sections are equal in size.
- In a small saucepan, heat apricot jam over low heat, stirring to loosen. Using a pastry brush, coat tops of both chocolate sections with melted jam. Stack a vanilla section on top of each chocolate section. Flip one stack so that chocolate section is on top. Brush long side of one stack with melted jam. Press sides together. (Jam will serve as the glue.) Trim ends of cake stacks evenly.
- Knead and roll out fondant to a 14-x-12-inch rectangle, according to package directions. Brush top of cake stacks with melted jam. Place cake stack, jam side down, in center of fondant sheet. Brush top and remaining sides of cake stack with jam.
- Wrap with fondant, pressing and smoothing fondant so that it adheres to cake. Using kitchen shears, trim long edge of fondant, letting ends overlap slightly. Press seam in place with fingers. Gently roll cake over so seam is on bottom. Fold and tuck in ends of fondant to keep cake moist.
- Using a straight edge such as a plastic ruler, press down on fondant every ½ inch or so to create a diamond pattern.
- Place cake on a cutting board, and wrap securely, making sure plastic is in contact with fondant to prevent it from drying out.
- Just before serving, unwrap cake. Using a long, serrated knife, trim ends, and cut cake into ½-inch slices, using a gentle sawing motion.
- • Cake can be made in advance, wrapped in plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature. Serve within 3 days.
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