Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Daring Bakers' Challenge for June - 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.
Due to the tile work done in our kitchen last month, I missed out on completing my Daring Bakers' challenge. That made me all the more determined to post this month. The Battenberg Cake . . . such a proper British dessert! I can just imagine it being served at high tea! The first Battenberg cake was made to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Victoria, to husband Prince Louis of Battenberg. A Battenberg, traditionally, is a pink and white checkerboard, almond-flavored sponge cake, held together with some kind of icing or jam, and with a rolled icing of some sort on the outside. Some folks prefer fondant, some marzipan, and others chocolate plastique. I opted for the fondant.
I had fun baking this little gem. I did it on June 11, which is my mom's birthday. Although we were almost 500 miles apart on that special day, I baked this challenge cake in honor of her birthday. I sent her a picture, but the tasting was left to us, on this end. The cake turned out very pretty, I thought, in its quilted top and little pink candy pearls.
I have to be honest though. I probably won't ever make another Battenberg. I found it much prettier than it was tasty. First off, I'm not a fan of sponge cake. Secondly, almond flavoring is one of my least favorites; this cake had both almond flavoring and ground almonds in the recipe. And, thirdly, the rolled fondant was so sweet and leathery that I found myself peeling it off, like an orange peel, before eating the cake.
Despite my so-so review, I'm glad to have baked the Battenberg cake. I had never done a checkerboard cake before and found it the most fun part of the process. It was also my first time to cover a cake in rolled fondant icing. That went pretty well, I thought.
And now for the best part! In trimming the cakes, I ended up with a lot of cake scraps (probably 4 cups worth). I froze them, thinking that I'd be able to use them, somehow, to make another dessert.
About a week later I pulled the scraps from the freezer to try making a bread pudding, using the cake pieces instead of bread. I thought it would work. After all, sponge cake is quite dense, so I had faith that it wouldn't turn to mush in the making of the pudding (and it didn't).
I put the scraps under the oven broiler for a little while, to help dry them out and give them a little crust. Then I mixed up the bread pudding ingredients, including one apple, cut into small pieces, and three chopped up prunes (I didn't have any raisins on hand). Here's what the pudding looked like when it came out of the oven.
Finally, I cooked up a vanilla sauce and poured the hot sauce over each serving of the pudding.
YUM! It was so good. Both Dan and I preferred it to the original cake.