Monday, 20 May 2013

GUEST BLOGGER: Olivia Ellen's Chocolate Battenberg Cake!

Today I have I have another guest blogger posting. She's one of my best friends and currently runs a fashion and beauty blog, which I'm sure many of you will be interested in! Also, I am still looking to continue this every other Monday so if you are a blogger who is interested in guest blogging on here then feel free to email me on:, even if you are unsure what it's about. Anyway, I'll hand you over to Liv...

Hi, I'm Olivia from Olivia Ellen and today I wanted to share this simple recipe with you. Although my blog is a fashion and beauty blog, I am also a keen baker on the side and so when I saw a recipe for this I was drying to try it out. You don't need any specialised baking skills - just precision and time, as it is quite a long process but it's completely worth it in the end!  


250g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
235g self-raising flour
100g ground almonds
45g cocoa powder
6 medium eggs
3tbsp apricot jam
500g golden marzipan
icing sugar for dusting


I used 4 mini loaf tins although if you don't have these, 2 large loaf tins will work fine.

For the cake:

1. Cream the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until pale and fluffy.
2. In a jug, beat the eggs and then slowly combine with the butter mixture using an electric whisker on a high speed.
3. Now divide the batter into two parts: sift 140g of flour and 50g of almonds together into one half of the batter. Then sift 95g flour, 50g almonds and the cocoa powder into the other half.
4. Pour into your baking tins and cook for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees/gas mark 4.  
5. After the cakes are out the oven, leave them to cool for about half an hour in the tins, then remove them from the tins and leave the cool for a further 15 minutes. 6. Now you need to take a large bread knife and slice the tops of the cake off where it has risen, so you are left with a flat surface and a lot of extra cake. Then wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for around an hour to make sure they are nice and firm. 

To slice the cakes:

Take a small knife (serrated ones work best as they are easiest to cut bread etc with) and a clean ruler. Slicing the cakes was a bit of a guess as to what size to make them but I've found these measurements work well for me - you may need to alter yours depending on the size of cake tin you use.

1. Cut all the dark, crispy edges off each cake.
2. Then measure and slice the cakes down to size so they are 12cm long, 5cm wide and 2.5cm high.
3. Put all the leftover cake to one side.

4. You should now be left with two pale sponges and two dark sponges of around equal size. Wrap them back up in clingfilm and pop them in the fridge while you do the next step. 

To assemble the cakes:

1. Place the apricot jam in a bowl and warm in the microwave for about 30 seconds on a high setting so it is soft and spreadable.
2. Get the cakes out of the fridge and take one dark slice and one light slice. 
3. Spread a thin layer of jam onto the dark slice using a small palette knife and then place the light slice on top like a sandwich.
4. Cut approximately in half, spread jam on one half and then stick the other half on top so you have a checker board effect. Repeat with the other two slices of cake.

The marzipan:

1. Lightly cover a surface with icing sugar and begin rolling out your marzipan so it is less than 1cm thick.

2. Taking your knife and ruler, cut the marzipan to a rectangle of 20cm by 15cm. Keep the excess to use for the other cake.
3. Spread over a light layer of jam using your palette knife.

4. Place your cake at the edge of the marzipan, trim down the edge if it is too long and then slowly roll up the cake in the marzipan, being sure it has stuck properly each time. Trim off any excess at the end. 

5. Finally, if you have one, take a cake smoother to smooth down the marzipan so you're left with no fingerprints and a nice even surface.
I know the method looks scary- I was nervous about doing it for the first time - but it's actually quite simple, all it takes is a little patience. There is a lot of cake left over once you've sliced them all down, but you can use this for whatever you want - I used some of it as the sponge in a homemade trifle or you could just eat it.

The cake is perfect for a summer garden party, it'll be really impressive because it looks much more difficult than it looks! Plus it tastes fantastic so give it a try and I hope you enjoyed my first ever guest blogger post!

Olivia Ellen XXX

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Cakesfordorothy xoxo

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