Before you know it, ...
Last year, while trying to figure out the strie[s/z/tz]el spelling, I came across a recipe for Battenberg cake in Nick Malgieri's A Baker's Tour and bookmarked it. As any birthday party requires cake, now seemed to be the perfect time to give it a try. Instead of baking two separate cakes to assemble into one, I went for Battenberg muffins adding some almond oil to make up for the missing fondant icing. The muffins as such turned out ok, but because the cocoa and vanilla taste gets mixed in bite-sized portions, the cocoa will overpower all other flavours. So I'd say it's not worth the extra work.
The reason, which got me interested in the recipe in the first place, is that Battenberg is a small village, complete with the ruins of a castle, not too far from where I live. I went there today to get some pictures for this post, but as it was a balmy, sunny day in autumn the place was packed. The only pictures unobstructed by the full car park or loads of other people were from a small watchtower and a hazy glimpse of the Rhine valley.
Adapted from the muffin recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.
Flavour combination for Battenberg Cake from A Baker's Tour by Nick Malgieri.
3 Tbsp melted butter or neutral oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk, plus more if needed
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp home-made vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp almond oil
Yields about 12 muffins.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a muffin tray with paper cups. In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Beat together the egg, milk and melted butter or oil. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Divide the batter into two bowls, add the cocoa powder to one half and the vanilla extract and almond oil to the other. Spoon two or three alternating layers into the muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the muffins are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of one of them comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before taking them out of the tray.