the fanfares are sounding, the union jacks are flying and the pimms is flowing. as i'm sure you know, 2012 marks sixty years at the throne for queen liz and what better what to celebrate that with a good old fashioned tea party! stuck for ideas on what to make and feel like those crustless cucumber sandwiches just won't cut it? why not try my recipe for a royal red, white and blue twist on a british favourite.
♥ a block of white marzipan
♥ three tablespoons of raspberry jam
♥ splash of milk
♥ one teaspoon of vanilla essence
♥ one teaspoon baking powder
♥ red and blue food colouring or gel
♥ non stick baking parchment and foil
♥ a square baking tin/dish
note: i was even drawn to the union jack packaging on pretty much all of these ingredients! :)
set the oven to 170 degrees, or gas mark four. prepare the baking tin with buttered parchment and make a divider using a wedge of kitchen foil wrapped in parchment (so the sponge doesn't stick to the foil).
for the sponge, beat the sugar and butter in a bowl until pale and creamy. add the first egg to make the mixture easier to beat and then add the rest of the eggs one by one. next add the vanilla essence and lastly sift and fold in the flour. if the mixture seems too thick, add a splash of milk and continue to beat.
next, separate the mixture and turn royal blue and regal red (well, pink!) a little tip is that if the blue food colouring turns your mixture green, try adding a little red to make it a more purpley blue. primary colour wheel yo!
you then carefully pour the mixture into each section trying to keep them apart. don't worry if you get a little overlap, you'll be cutting it up later :) you then put it in the oven for around 40 minutes (or until risen and as golden as you'd expect a colourful sponge to be) and then let cool on a rack for 20 minutes.
next you put your rectangle sponges side by side and trim any risen bits, edges etc until they match. you then cut these evening down the middle and switch over, making the chequered effect. warm up your raspberry jam in the microwave for 10 seconds and use as "glue".
for the marzipan coating, being by dusting a flat surface with icing sugar, rather like you would with flour for rolling pastry out. roll out the marzipan with length of your sponge and a width that will wrap around it.
when you're happy, lay your sponge on the marzipan and wrap up, pinching at the edges to seal. you may want to cut the ends to neaten it up too. and of course for the first little taste!
serve with a cup of earl grey - of course from one of these jubilee teapots - and there you have it! a jubilee battenberg fit for a queen!