This past Thursday, two members of our test kitchen team went live with you on Facebook to answer some of your most pressing questions for this month’s Better Baking Academy Module: Red Velvet Battenberg Cake. Here, we’ve rounded up five of those questions along with our team’s expert answers.
If you’re looking to learn more about the Better Baking Academy and our partnership with Bob’s Red Mill, be sure to check out our Better Baking Academy homepage here. We also have a Better Baking Academy with Bob’s Red Mill Facebook group. Here, you can share your beautiful bakes and interact with other home bakers in our Bake from Scratch community.
Let’s see what our experts had to say about making this month’s festive Red Velvet Battenberg Cake!
Question: I love red velvet cake but would love to experiment with the flavors of this cake. What do you recommend?
Answer: Great question! If you’re looking for a slightly stronger almond flavor, you could try adding almond extract to your plain batter. Peppermint extract could also work well with the chocolaty notes of the red velvet cake. Or you can substitute your favorite seedless preserve in place of the strawberry jam used in the recipe to give your Battenberg a new fruity twist.
Question: My marzipan is nearly impossible to work with. What have I done wrong?
Answer: It’s possible that your marzipan just needed a little more kneading and confectioners’ sugar incorporated in. You’ll know it’s ready to be refrigerated when it no longer sticks to your work surface. Also, when overworked and warm, marzipan will become harder to work with, so make sure your marzipan is thoroughly chilled before you go to roll it out. On the other hand, if it feels dry and starts cracking when you go to roll it out, it’s possible that your marzipan wasn’t wrapped tightly enough before going into the refrigerator and dried out.
Question: I accidentally trimmed one of my cake pieces a little too much. What do I do?
Answer: If the cake piece is still relatively close to the same size as the others, simply trim all your other pieces to match the dimensions of the smaller cake piece. Or if you accidentally chopped off a large chunk, you can try to piece your error back together using jam as your glue.
Question: If I wanted to make a more traditional Battenberg, what would I change?
Answer: For a traditional Battenberg, the cakes would only be flavored with almond extract. Also, one cake would be left yellow, while the other would be lightly colored pink. Finally, instead of strawberry jam, most traditional recipes call for apricot jam to bind your layers together.
Question: I really want to use up my leftover cake scraps. Any suggestions?
Answer: If you combine your cake trimmings with your scraps of marzipan, you can actually make some pretty delicious cake truffles. Dipped in your favorite melted chocolate, they’re an absolute treat. You could also make a small trifle or two if you’re looking for another classic English dessert.