Daring Bakers Challenge June 2012: Battenberg Cake

Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.

I’m not really a fan of plain sponge cake or marzipan, so I decided to try and jazz the cakes up a little and used the chocolate plastique rather than marzipan for the covering.  For the cake I made a chocolate sponge and a cherry coconut sponge, sandwiched together with a chocolate ganache.

It was nice, but a little dry and although the chocolate plastique worked quite well as a covering, I didn’t really enjoy the taste, so next time would probably use a chocolate icing instead.

Chocolate Sponge cake and Cherry Coconut Sponge (based on Mary Berry’s Coffee Battenberg)

¾ cup  Unsalted Butter, softened & cut in cubes
¾ cup  Caster Sugar
1¼ cups Self-Raising Flour
3 Large Eggs, room temp
½ cup dessicated coconut
3/4 tsp / 3½ gm Baking Powder
3 tsp Milk
½ tspVanilla Extract

2 cups pitted cherries chopped
1½ tsp cocoa powder


1. Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/160°C Fan Assisted
2. Grease an 8”/20cm square baking tin with butter
3. Line the tin with parchment paper, creating a divide in the middle with the parchment (or foil)

4.  Whisk together dry ingredients (except cocoa and coconut) and combine with the wet ingredients in a large bowl (except vanilla and milk) and beat together just until the ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth
6. Spoon half the mixture into a separate bowl and stir in the vanilla, 1½ teaspoons milk and cocoa
7. Spoon the cocoa mixture into the one side of the prepared baking tin
8. Add chopped cherries, coconut and the remaining 1½ teaspoon milk and add to the remaining batter, stir until just combined
9. Spoon the cherry batter into the other half of the prepared baking tin
10. Smooth the surface of the batter with a spatula, making sure batter is in each corner
11. Bake for 25-30mins until the cake is well risen, springs back when lightly touched and a
toothpick comes out clean (it should shrink away from the sides of the pan)
12. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack

Chocolate Plastique / Modelling Chocolate (From joy of baking)

Dark Chocolate Plastique
200gm /7 oz Good Quality Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa content)
¼ cup / 60ml /2 oz Light Corn Syrup / Glucose Syrup / Golden Syrup

1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, stir occasionally
2. Once completely melted, remove from heat and allow to cool a bit
3. Stir in corn syrup / glucose syrup / golden syrup, it will seize up almost immediately, just keep stirring until mixed and it comes away from the side of the bowl
4. Transfer chocolate into a sealable bag, spread the chocolate out then seal the bag
5. Leave overnight or refrigerate for about 2 hours until completely firm
6. Turn out from the bag and knead on a surface dusted with powdered sugar, at first it will just break , but as you knead, it will warm up and start to become pliable
7. Knead until it’s pliable enough to roll out or mould, 5 – 10mins

Chocolate Ganache

1.  Heat 200g dark chocolate in a pan with 200ml whipping cream over gentle heat until chocolate is melted.

2.  Leave to cool a little before use.


To make battenberg:

1.  Cut cooled cakes in half to make long rectangular pieces.

2.  Trim pieces so they are all even

3. Stick pieces together with chocolate ganache to form battenberg pattern and ice the top and sides to stick the chocolate plastique.

4.  Cover in rolled chocolate plastique and trim ends to neaten.


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