This chequered sponge is said to have first been baked to celebrate Prince Louis of Battenburg's marriage to Princess Victoria in 1884.
Preparation: 20 minutes + 1–2 hours setting and cooling. Baking time: 25–30 minutes
- 225g Butter or Margarine, softened
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 225g Self-raising Flour
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- Red Food Colouring
- Raspberry or Apricot Jam
- 225g Marzipan
- Icing Sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
- Grease two 900g (2lb) loaf tins and baseline with non-stick baking parchment or greased greaseproof paper.
- Cream the butter or margarine and sugar together and beat in the eggs.
- Sieve the flour and baking powder together, fold into the mixture and mix to a dropping consistency, adding a little hot water if necessary.
- Put half the mixture into one of the prepared tins.
- Add a couple of drops of red food colouring to the remaining mixture to make it pale pink and put it into the second tin.
- Bake for 25–30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then turn out on to a wire rack.
- When cold, trim the cakes and cut two lengths from each one, each approximately 3 cm square.
- Spread the pieces with jam and stick the four lengths together, the colours alternating.
- Wrap in greaseproof paper very tightly and leave for an hour or two.
- Spread the outside of the cake with jam.
- Roll out the marzipan in a little icing sugar to oblong the same width as the cake and long enough to wrap around.
- Place the cake on the marzipan and wrap it around the cake, pressing it neatly and arranging the join in one lower corner.
- If you wish, crimp the edge and mark the top with a criss-cross pattern.
- Wrap the cake in paper again and keep for 3–4 hours in a cool place before eating.
This recipe is from Vintage Tea Time published by Simon & Schuster in 2012.