Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Battenberg

I made a Pumpkin Spice Battenberg from a recipe in this month's Southern Living magazine.  Generally, I love the recipes in Southern Living because they're very well tested in the magazine's test kitchens and they're usually delicious and fairly easy in spite of the fact that they typically have a jillion ingredients.

I didn't know what a Battenberg was before I saw the picture in the magazine, but the minute I saw it I wanted to make it.  I've been baking since I was very young and fancy baking has been somewhat of a hobby of mine in the past.  It's a hobby I've sort of departed from as the healthier eating movement invaded the world.  My husband does not eat sweets - at all - so when I bake something, either I eat it all, which is very not good or I give it away - which I love to do, or I take it to work, which I have done frequently in the past.

Dave and I have been reading a book called The Artist's Way, which has exercises in it that are supposed to help you become more creative.  One of the exercises is to write down 20 activities you love to do but maybe haven't done in a while.  Then you are supposed to choose two from the list and spend some time rediscovering them.  One of the activities I wrote down was baking.  I saw the recipe a few days after that.  I really enjoyed the whole process.  I enjoyed thinking about baking the cake and planning the baking and figuring out what I was going to do with the cake.  And I really enjoyed the actual baking.

My cake is pictured above, and Southern Living's is pictured here.  Of course they look very different!  For one thing, you can see how unevenly I divided the layers.  And for some reason, the portion of the batter I added the pumpkin mixture to became much more dense.  The marzipan I bought was not white, it was decidedly off-white. (Although it looks lighter in the photo.  Maybe theirs does too).  And there's no way I could have rolled it thinly enough to cover all six sides of the cake.  I had to settle for not having any marzipan on the bottom, which was really okay.

I didn't actually purchase the marzipan myself.  It was on the list when Dave did the shopping last week.  I told him what aisle it was on, but he still had a little trouble and since he couldn't find a store person (can anyone ever find an employee when you need one?) a nice couple shopping the same aisle helped him look.  One of them asked him what marzipan was exactly and he said he didn't know but thought it had something to do with pumpkin!  Funny!

I have to admit, I ate most of it.  I took several pieces to my sister and brother-in-law and Grace came over on Saturday and had some.  All said it was delicious.  I don't know if it made me more creative, but I certainly enjoyed eating it!