This true teatime classic requires a little more effort and precision to make, but the results are always stunning and will impress your guests! The signature checkerboard effect not only looks beautiful, but it also tastes delicious.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.
Grease a 20cm/8in square, loose-based cake tin with butter. Take a 30cm x 20cm/12in x 8in strip of baking parchment and make a 8cm/3in fold in the centre. This will create a division in the cake so that the two differently coloured sponges can be cooked at the same time. Line the tin with the baking parchment, keeping the division in the centre.
In a large bowl mix the butter, Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Light Brown Soft Pure Cane Sugar, and vanilla extract together with an electric, handheld mixer until soft and creamy for about 1 minute, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift over the flour and ground almonds, lightly fold in with a metal spoon until you have a soft consistency which will easily drop from the spoon.
Split the mixture between 2 bowls. Add a little red food colouring to one half of the mixture to achieve a soft pink colour. Spoon both mixtures into each side of the prepared baking tin and level out.
Bake in the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.
Leave to cool for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely and discard the parchment. Cut into 4 long strips, roughly 3cm high and 4cm wide. Make sure all the pieces are the exact same size. To do this line them up next to each other and use a sharp serrated knife.
Gently warm up the apricot jam or Strawberry Vanilla & Amaretto Apricot Jam. Once smooth, spread on the edges of the cake slices.
Sandwich together the cake slices like a chequerboard, pushing down to stick them closely together.
Roll the marzipan out to a 3-4mm thickness. Place the cake in the centre, folding the marzipan over and trimming away any excess, leaving a small overlap to seal together.
Place in the fridge and leave to set for an hour before serving.
Ingredients – 7 items
For the Cake
Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Pure Cane Soft Light Brown Sugar
Self raising flour
Red food colouring
or our strawberry vanilla & apricot amaretto jam
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