Britain 2020

As the racing reason makes it back to the UK, we turn to a British recipe to ruin...

So here is Batten-Cousins. 

Somewhat reminiscent of Battergberg cake that I grew up with, remembering it as dry and disappointing. We hit this with a different approach.

Two colours of lemon sponge cake sandwich together in a 2x2 checker pattern, plastered with lemon marmalade and loosely wrapped in marzipan. Siân's stock of colours for icing provided the depth of dye needed to withstand baking and my hand is still glowing.

Somewhat helped by the use of self-raising flour and baking powder, I proved, I can make a cake rise.

You'll notice this week, we haven't got the girls to take the lead. They're away. So in honour of their love of being made to bake random things, the colours are appropriately shocking pink and brightest yellow. They'll have to miss out on the eating.

Sickly colours of cake mix
Cut off the brown crusts to reveal edible cake

Icing rolling mats are very useful for this

Assembly in sticky goop of marmalade

Finished - ready to force-feed to the office staff


250g butter
250g caster sugar
4 large eggs
zest and juice of one lemon
200g or thereabouts (guess at what seems right) of self-raising flour
roughly 3/4 teaspoon baking powder (being uncertain about how much to exaggerate the recipe I found online)
Food colourings - those full of high-intensity 'E' colours are the best
several tablespoons of lemon marmalade 
450g pack of marzipan, ready to roll

  1. Preheat the over to Gas Mark 5, grease and line two 20cm loaf tins 
  2. In the mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and 'fluffy' - this is very much wrong adjective to butter/sugar mix, but those who bake seem t know what it means
  3. Add eggs one at a time and mix a bit more
  4. Add lemon zest and juice and mix a bit more
  5. Mix a bit more for good luck. It now looks like it is separating, so stop mixing
  6. Double sieve the flour and baking powder, add the mixture and stir with a metal spoon
  7. Divide the mixture exactly into half - at this point, realise that it would have been sensible to weigh the bowl when it was empty
  8. Add colours (one colour to each half of the mixture, just in case you hadn't worked that out)
  9. Pour into the loaf tins and spread to even
  10. Bake for 40ish minutes or until you run out of patience
  11. Cool
  12. With a sharp bread knife, cut away the brunt crusty edges and attempt to make the cakes look acceptable. Cut each into four long fingers of square cross-section. The more accurately you cut the squares matching, the better the cake will assemble. I cut them to size freehand by eye, maybe you can tell by the way the cake falls over.
  13. Roll out the marzipan (it really helps to have rolling mats for this). The size you need to roll to will depend on how large your fingers are, but mine came to 10" x 15" - At this point, you should be disgusted at the transfer between metric and imperial units, shout scream and stop following the recipe.
  14. Mash the marmalade to lose it's jelly-like consistency. (I warmed it, but I don't think that helped.)
  15. Assemble the cake in the centra of the marzipan, with marmalade mush between all cake-to-cake, and cake-to-marzipan interfaces.
  16. Fold the marzipan tightly around the cake and seal the edge with marmalade between the overlapping join. I don't understand how this should be done, because the marzipan just stretches when pulled tight, so much like my belly, the cake has a saggy edge. Turn over to leave the sealed edge on the bottom.
  17. Pose for a proud selfie


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