Makes a cake 18" x 6". We have used a Battenberg cake tin which has 4 removable compartments, alternatively you could use a plain tin with the same dimensions and cut the sponge yourself.
For the cake
Pre heat your oven to 160C
Brush the inside of the tin including the removable compartments with melted butter, then lightly coat with flour. Tap out any excess.
Put everything into a mixing bowl except the vanilla or almond essence, and using the paddle attachment beat together until you have a fluffy pale mixture - Scrape down the sides in between to make sure it's all mixed in together. You can do this by hand if you don't have a mixer, but you will need a bit of elbow grease!
When that's done, take roughly half of the mix out and decant into a separate bowl, add the vanilla extract into one half and mix to combine, then scrape onto a piping bag and pipe into two of the compartments of your tin as evenly as you can - I use a bag for neatness and precision, but you can spoon the mixture in alternatively.
Mix in the almond extract and pink colour into the other half, just using a tiny amount of the colour until you get the shade you’re happy with. Then as before pipe into the other two compartments.
Bake for about 25 min until well risen and golden
Leave to cool slightly on a cooling rack, then using a palette knife go around the cake In case any has stuck to the sides but it should have come away from the tin already.
Leave to cool completely before decorating
Once cool, gently warm the apricot jam with a tablespoon of water to thin it down slightly,
Roll out the marzipan straight onto a sheet of baking parchment dusted with corn flour - This will make it easier to roll at the end. Use the tin as a guide but you need it to be slightly longer than the length of the cake, and 4 times the depth.
Once you have the marzipan rolled out you can start building the Battenberg.. The sponge should be pretty square, so if any of the top edges are a little dome shaped from the oven level them off before you start assembling them.
Start by using a pastry brush to brush some of the warm jam straight onto the marzipan, roughly the size of two strips of the sponge. Then place one vanilla strip onto the marzipan, brush the entire sponge strip with warmed jam, then place a pink sponge strip next to it and cover it too with Jam,
Then place the remaining plain strip on top of the pink and repeat with the jam, lastly do the same with the remaining vanilla strip - You should now have all four strips of sponge stuck together with jam and completely covered in jam.
Take hold of the baking parchment at the end furthest from you with both hands and lift it up so that the Battenberg tips towards you, keep going until the marzipan joins together. You can then smooth the sides and make sure that the marzipan has glued itself to the sponge using the paper to do this, then cut off any excess bits of marzipan with a sharp knife.
Leave the cake for about 30 minutes before cutting to allow the marzipan to adhere to the cake and enjoy with a cuppa!
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