Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Battenberg cake

I don't remember how long ago did I come across this cake from Sprinkles Bake's blog, but my mouth had watered from the pictures and next thing...it went on my "Must Try" list.
With the help of Wikipedia, I had learned that the name of this cake created to honor the marriage of the granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England's to Prince Louis of Battenburg of Germany and that the four checkered pieces represents four princes, Louis, Alexander, Henry, and Francis Joseph. How cool is that, to have a cake in your name.

I decided to give this light sponge cake that you can find only in England a try.

Spring Battenburg Cake

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar (the original recipe calls for 1 cup, but due to the marzipan wrap, i reduced it)
3 medium eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1-2 tsp milk (if the batter is too thick)
1 drop of red food color
1 drop of green food color
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 1/2 cup marzipan (store-bought)
1 1/2 cup white fondant (ready-made)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your pan, and line it with parchment paper. The original recipe called for 10x7 inch pan, and divide them with parchment paper for the two colors, but I happen to have a 7x4 pan, so i used that. For more instructions on how to divide the pan, please click here.

In a medium bowl, mix your flour with salt and baking powder, set aside.

Cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, with good mixing after each addition then mix in almond extract. Turn the mixer to low speed, and gently add flour to the mixture. Add 1 to 2 tsp of milk if the batter is too thick, I ended up adding about 3 tsp. The batter will be thick but should be easily spooned out. Divide the batter into two equal amounts, color one with red food color (remember, i add just a little bit to create a pink color) and another one with green. Spoon batters into prepared pans and bake for about 15-45 minutes, depend on the size of your pan, or until a toothpick inserted came out clean.

When the cakes are done, trim each color into two long cuboid cakes. Melt the apricot jam, and brush them on sides of the cake that you will attach other color into. Stack each color with alternating color creating a 2 x 2 square.

Roll out your marzipan thinly, and stack the cakes on the marzipan. Roll the cakes tightly covering it with marzipan. You can stop here and serve or you can add another thin layer of white fondant to cover the whole cake. Use the back of the knife to create a criss-cross patern on top, and add decoration pearls to where each line meets.

Source : Slightly adapted from Sprinkles Bakes

The cake itself is delicious with apricot jam and almond flavor but one tip that I want to share, make sure you trim the crust of the cake because otherwise you will end up with a crunchy cake. Also, try to roll out your fondant (if using) thinly because of the over sweetness of it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

If you are like me, buying buttermilk just to try out my "certain" theory of an excellent red velvet cake, then end up with almost a carton full of leftover buttermilk, and try frantically to find other recipes with buttermilk, and didn't feel like making those recipes just yet but the buttermilk is about to expired (pleaseee raise your hand if you're like me...otherwise, i will feel very very lonely), then i have a solution for you, why not try to make it into a smoothie. I can tell you that not only it's fulfilling, but also delicious. This recipe is my go to recipe for breakfast smoothie nowadays. Simply put different types of fruits each day and you are good to go.

Anyway, here is the recipe :

Ingredients :
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 ripe banana, cut into pieces
1/2 cup fresh strawberry, cut into pieces
honey, add to taste
pinch of salt
1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients, except honey, in a blender with a high speed until smooth and ice is no longer crumbly. Pour into glass and add honey to taste.