A light and colourful sponge covered in marzipan, Battenberg cake is the perfect afternoon treat!
Preheat oven to gas mark 4, 180°C, 160°C fan.
Line the base and sides of a 20cm (8in) square tin with nonstick baking paper (The easiest way to do this is by crossing over 2 pieces of baking paper.)
Make the almond sponge by putting the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and almond extract in a large bowl. Beat with an electric whisk for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to the tin, spreading to the corners, and bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and golden.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the pink sponge, line the tin as above. Mix all the ingredients together as above, but don't add the almond extract. Fold in a few drops of pink food colouring. Transfer to the tin and bake as before and allow to cool.
Next, make the topping. Heat the jam in a small pan until runny, then sieve. Trim two opposite edges from the almond sponge, then trim a third edge well. Roughly measure the height of the sponge, then cutting from the well-trimmed edge, use a ruler to help you cut 4 slices the same width as the height of the sponge. You can take a thin layer off the top of the cake to remove the golden crust. Repeat with the pink cake.
Take two almond slices and two pink slices and trim so that they are all the same length. Roll out one marzipan block on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to just over 20cm (8in) wide and roughly 0.5cm (1/4in) thick. Brush with apricot jam, lay a pink and an almond slice side by side at one end of the marzipan, brushing jam in between the sponges. Brush more jam on top of the sponges, then sandwich the remaining 2 slices on top, to give a checkerboard effect. Trim the marzipan to the length of the cakes. Carefully lift up the marzipan and smooth over the cake with your hands and seal by crimping with your fingers and thumb or the prongs of fork.
Assemble the second Battenberg and keep in an airtight box or well wrapped in clingfilm for up to 3 days. The cake can be frozen for up to a month.
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