Three more cakes done from Chapter One of Mary Berry’s Baking Bible in my efforts to bake the book from A to Z (or Genesis to Revelations perhaps). The three bakes were Cappuccino Cake, Lemon Yoghurt Cake and the classic Battenburg Cake.
First to the new friend, Cappuccino Cake or more perhaps more accurately in this cake, a Babyccino Cake. Previous readers will have seen that my family and therefore my chief testers are not fans of coffee-flavoured cake and a Cappuccino Cake obviously includes some coffee, although only in the filling / topping. The cake itself is a two-layer chocolate sponge, made with cocoa powder and came out light and tasty. The filling / topping is cream which was supposed to have been flavoured with coffee. I flavoured mine with vanilla bean paste instead. I then sprinkled over some grated chocolate.
Whilst I think some coffee flavouring would have been great, the cake worked perfectly fine and kept peace and joy at home. I served it as a Sunday dessert and it worked perfectly as that; it is perhaps a little rich and fancy for a midweek cake. Everybody enjoyed it and probably needless to say, it did not last long so I was soon baking once more.
On to an old friend then, the lemon yoghurt cake. I have made this particular recipe before and a couple of variations of my own, as well as other, similar yoghurt cakes. Yoghurt cake does seem to work particularly well with lemon, although I love lemon in any cake or dessert so I may be a little biased. It is not a straightforward sponge: one uses separated eggs. The yolks are beaten with butter and sugar and then the flour, yoghurt and lemon zest is added, before folding in beaten egg whites. It does give a good light cake, to which the yoghurt ensures a moistness. A simple, fairly runny icing made with lemon juice is spread across the top.
All in all, a very nice cake and I shall keep making it with and without variations. (I have done it with orange zest and juice rather than lemon or have kept the lemon and added sultanas, also made a drizzle with the lemon juice and granulated sugar instead of icing sugar that I have poured over after first pricking the top of the cake with a cocktail stick.)
Finally and I may be stretching a point to call it another old friend in that I have only made it a couple of times: the Battenburg. It is a classic cake, but to be honest with you, if you haven’t tried it (and I don’t want to put anyone off, but) it’s a bit of a faff to make. Without a specialist tin, it is tricky to end up with two rectangular cakes exactly the same size. I carefully measured the half way point in my greased cake tin and placed a piece of cardboard trimmed to the right length in exactly the right place. I then added the cake mixture, plain on one side and pink on the other and baked it. During its time in the oven, the cardboard insert not only moved to its left, but it also tipped so that both cakes had one diagonal edge. Aargh! This made achieving two equal lengths of each colour even harder. I suspect that sandwiching the pieces together and then covering it in rolled out marzipan is probably easier with a slightly older cake, whereas I assembled it as soon as the cake had cooled. I did eventually get there.
The result does look distinctly homemade, but it is tasty, particularly, if like my son and me, you love marzipan. If you’re a confident baker and want something special for a particular event, then it’s great, but I suspect it will be a while before I make it again.