Chocolate Battenberg Cake

It’s the end of the month, which means it’s once again time for a Daring Bakers post! This month 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. The traditional Battenberg has nuts in it, is glued together with apricot preserves, and has a marzipan coating. Barf. I made a Battenberg I’d actually eat, which means chocolate, chocolate, and glued together with caramel sauce.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

Chocolate Plastique:

  • 7 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • caramel sauce

The first thing to do, if you don’t have a pan specifically for making this cake, is to set up your pan. Fold a piece of foil so that it’s several layers thick, 2-3 inches tall, and wide enough to divide an 8X8″ square pan.

Fold parchment paper in a W around the foil, cutting the parchment so that it’s the width of the pan, and long enough to cover the bottom on each side of the foil divider.

Grease the bottom and sides of the pan, and then press the parchment down onto the butter with the foil divider in the center of the pan. This worked way better than I expected.

Set the pan aside and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir the cocoa powder into the milk and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, sifting 3 times to ensure they’re well sifted and free of lumps.

In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla until frothy.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth and shiny. Beat in the powdered sugar in 3 additions, beating after each. Add the egg mixture in three batches next, again beating after each. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Divide the batter as evenly as you can into two bowls. Transfer two tablespoons of batter from one bowl to the other. Beat the cocoa mixture into the bowl with the slightly less batter.

Let’s do this!

Spread the two batters in the cake pan, one on each side of the divider.

It’s a good idea to put a bit more batter on the outsides, so that they start off higher to offset if the cake domes in the center. That way you don’t have to cut off much to make even cake squares later. I wish I had done this a bit more.

Bake 25 – 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the chocolate plastique, melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the corn syrup and stir until it comes together in a mass, away from the sides of the bowl. Pour onto greased saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours until firm.

When the cake has cooled and the chocolate is almost done chilling, level the top of the cakes, then stack them and even out the sides. Cut them in half, lengthwise.

Set the cake aside and take out the chocolate plastique. Knead until pliable, then roll out to about 1/8″ thick. “Flour” with powdered sugar as necessary. Mine never got super pliable, but I beat it into submission with a rolling pin.

Roll until it’s as wide as the cakes are long, and long enough to wrap around the cakes.

Put one vanilla and one chocolate piece of cake next to each other and brush their tops with caramel sauce.

Place the alternate flavor cake slice on top of each, then coat the sides where the two stacks touch each other with caramel sauce. Coat all the outside surfaces with caramel sauce also, then place top-side down on the rolled out chocolate.

Gently fold the chocolate up around the cake, squaring off the edges with your fingers. Fold the chocolate over the top, cutting off any overlap.

Gently press the seam closed, then invert the cake. If desired, make a checkerboard pattern in the chocolate by running the back of a knife over it. I was able to press pretty firmly without the cake collapsing. Cut off the end to reveal the patterned cake.

And that’s it! You’ve made a pretty awesome looking cake! Nice work.

I fully support this flavor combination!

Battenberg Cake

Cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

Chocolate Plastique:

  • 7 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • caramel sauce

To recreate a Battenberg cake pan, first fold a piece of foil so that it’s several layers thick, 2-3 inches tall, and wide enough to divide an 8X8″ square pan. Fold parchment paper in a W around the foil, cutting the parchment so that it’s the width of the pan, and long enough to cover the bottom on each side of the foil divider. Grease the bottom and sides of the pan, and then press the parchment down onto the butter with the foil divider in the center of the pan.

Set the pan aside and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir the cocoa powder into the milk and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, sifting 3 times to ensure they’re well sifted and free of lumps.

In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla until frothy.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth and shiny. Beat in the powdered sugar in 3 additions, beating after each. Add the egg mixture in three batches next, again beating after each. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Divide the batter as evenly as you can into two bowls. Transfer two tablespoons of batter from one bowl to the other. Beat the cocoa mixture into the bowl with the slightly less batter.

Spread the two batters in the cake pan, one on each side of the divider, spooning the batter slightly higher at the ends. Bake 25 – 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the chocolate plastique, melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the corn syrup and stir until it comes together in a mass, away from the sides of the bowl. Pour onto greased saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours until firm.

When the cake has cooled and the chocolate is almost done chilling, level the top of the cakes, then stack them and even out the sides. Cut them in half, lengthwise.

Set the cake aside and take out the chocolate plastique. Knead until pliable, then roll out to about 1/8″ thick. “Flour” with powdered sugar as necessary. Roll until it’s as wide as the cakes are long, and long enough to wrap around the cakes.

Put one vanilla and one chocolate piece of cake next to each other and brush their tops with caramel sauce. Place the alternate flavor cake slice on top of each, then coat the sides where the two stacks touch each other with caramel sauce. Coat all the outside surfaces with caramel sauce also, then place top-side down on the rolled out chocolate.

Gently fold the chocolate up around the cake, squaring off the edges with your fingers. Fold the chocolate over the top, cutting off any overlap. Gently press the seam closed, then invert the cake. If desired, make a checkerboard pattern in the chocolate by running the back of a knife over it. Cut off the end to reveal the patterned cake.

About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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4 Responses to Chocolate Battenberg Cake

  1. Brenda Berkal says:

    This was absolutely awesome. It looked like an awful lot of work, but eating it was quite a pleasure. I’d eat it again any time.

  2. Rose Lynn says:

    Wow – this looks wonderful. I just retired and am getting back into baking. This looks like fun to make and even better to eat.

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