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Rose and pistachio Battenberg cake

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  • 50g pistachio nuts, lightly toasted and cooled
  • 175g unsalted butter, soft
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 RSPCA Assured eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • Green food colouring
  • 1-2 tbsp RSPCA Assured milk
  • ½ tsp rose water
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Pink food colouring
  • Icing sugar for dusting
  • 450g white marzipan
  • 5 tbsp seedless raspberry jam

This recipe gives the classic Battenberg (or ‘window cake’) a middle-eastern twist with a delicate hint of rose and pistachio. Can you achieve the 'even bake' sought-after by Great British Bake Off contestants?

  • If you don’t have a Battenberg cake tin (these are pre-divided to allow you to cook both sponges at the same time), you can use greaseproof paper to divide your cake tin.
  • Grease a 20cm square cake tin. Take a piece of greaseproof paper that is the width of your tin and double the length.
  • Fold in half widthways and line the tin with the fold facing upwards in the centre.
  • Push the paper inwards so that the fold creates a peak the height of the tin with the remaining paper covering the bottom and sides of the tin.
  • Make sure that the divider neatly reaches the edges of the tin - gaps will cause the mixtures to combine, so do your best to keep the colours separate.
  • Grease the paper lining the bottom of the tin to help it stay in place.
  • Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 4. Grind your pre-toasted pistachio nuts in a food processor until you have a fine mixture.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the RSPCA Assured eggs and the flour - one tablespoon at a time - mixing constantly.
  • Make sure your mixture is smooth and consistent, then place half into another bowl.
  • In your first bowl, add most of the ground pistachios (keeping a tablespoon back for decoration) and a few drops of the green food colouring. Mix until well blended. If the mixture is a little stiff fold in some RSPCA Assured milk.
  • In your second bowl, add the rose water, lemon zest, 2 tsp lemon juice and a few drops of the pink food colouring. Mix until blended.
  • Spoon the pink mixture into one half of the tin and the pistachio mixture into the other half. Smooth until level.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin.
  • Once cooled, remove from the tin and place on a cooling rack.
  • When cold, slice each cake in half vertically to give you four equal pieces. If necessary, trim the pieces so they are equal.
  • Lightly dust a work surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan to about 3mm thick. You need a piece that is about 35 x 25cm to cover the cake.
  • Warm the jam (be careful not to overheat) either in the microwave or in a small saucepan until it is slightly looser in consistency.
  • Lay a pink and a green slice side by side at one end of the marzipan, brushing jam in between to stick the sponges together.
  • Brush more jam on top of the sponges, then sandwich the remaining 2 slices on top, alternating colours to give a chequerboard effect.
  • Carefully lift up the marzipan and smooth over the cake with your hands. Pat slightly so the marzipan sticks to the jam and cake.
  • Trim away the excess marzipan at the base of the cake and trim the ends of the cake using a sharp serrated knife.
  • Dust with icing sugar and a sprinkling of the remaining pistachio dust.
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