There are so many reasons why I love a Battenberg - the delicious soft sponges, stuck together with a generous serving of apricot jam, smothered in marzipan - It can be a controversial ingredient but it wouldn't be a Battenberg without the marzipan coating would it? I set about finding a way of upgrading this already delicious treat and here it is... a Persian style twist - done by using one of my favourite flavour combos.
The pistachio is super subtle but adds a slightly nutty flavour to the sponge that contrasts beautifully with the rose. For the rose I used rose extract, a product from a company called 'Spice drops' who I cannot big up enough - they basically make these little vials of really concentrated extracts which can be added into anything! I have used them in sugar syrups, sponges, drinks, cookies and even pastries and every time the result is stunning!
In this recipe I used a little drop or two into the sponge mixture meaning it doesn't massively overpower the pistachio in the other sponges. If you want to check them out I will link their website at the bottom of this post.
For the Sponges
- 200g Unsalted butter (softened) + extra for greasing
- 200g Caster sugar
- 3 Large eggs
- 200g Self raising flour
- 50g Pistachio kernels (blitzed into a fine powder & sifted)
- 2 drops of 'Spice Drops' Rose extract
- Green food colouring gel
- Pink food colouring gel
- 500g White marzipan block
- 5 tbsp Apricot jam
- A handful of chopped pistachio kernels
- A handful of dried rose petals
You will also need: A Battenberg tin
- Preheat your oven to 175C/ 160 Fan.
- Begin by preparing your Battenberg tin, greasing thoroughly with butter before coating with a little flour to make sure that the sponges come out easily.
- To make up the sponges, beat together the butter and sugar until light fluffy.
- Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, alongside a tablespoon of flour to keep the mixture nice and smooth.
- Once all the eggs have been added, fold in the flour until the mixture is nice and creamy.
- Divide the mixture equally into two bowls.
- In one bowl add the pistachio kernel 'powder' and the tiniest bit of green food colouring gel (remember you can always add more but once it is in there is no going back!). When you reach a desired colour move onto the other bowl.
- In the other bowl add the rose extract and pink food colouring gel.
- Pour the mixture into the tin, using two of the divisions in the tin for each type of sponge.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the centre of the sponge.
- Turn out the baked sponges onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely before trimming the sponges to make sure they are all of an equal size.
- Lightly dust a surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan block until it is a large rectangle (approximately 35cm x 25cm).
- Heat the apricot jam slightly to make it easier to spread before using it to stick together the four sponge strips in a checkerboard pattern.
- Brush the outer layer of the cake with jam and then turn the cake upside down onto the marzipan so that it sticks.
- Brush any uncovered parts of cake before rolling up in the marzipan.
- Trim off the excess marzipan from the cake and use make sure the icing layer is nice and smooth.
- Trim both ends of the cake to reveal the amazing checkerboard effect.
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with chopped pistachio kernels and dried rose petals before serving.
Here are some of the products I used in this bake:
Rose Extract Spice Drops