Prep Time: 45 minutes (plus cooling and drying)
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
For The Sponge Mixture:
- Oil, for greasing
- 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, diced and softened
- 175g (6oz) golden caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 140g (4¾oz) self-raising flour
- 50g (2oz) ground almonds
- ½tsp baking powder
- Finely grated zest and juice of ½ lime
- Green paste food colouring
- 2tsp cocoa powder dissolved in 2tsp hot water
- 6tbsp apricot jam, warmed and sieved
- Rainbow Dust Yellow ProGel® in yellow
- 450g (1lb) natural marzipan
- Icing sugar, for rolling out
- 65g (2½oz) white sugarpaste
- Green and gold sugar pearls
- Edible glue
Making The Sponge:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C)/350°F/gas 4. Grease a 20.5cm (8in) deep square cake pan and line it with baking parchment.
- Cut two strips of card 20.5cm (8in) long and the same height as the pan and cover them with non-stick foil. Stand the strips of card in the pan so it is divided into three equal sections, fixing the strips in place with sticky tape.
- Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, ground almonds and baking powder in a mixing bowl and beat everything together until smooth. Divide the mixture equally between three bowls.
- Spoon one bowl of mixture into a section of the pan. Stir the lime zest into one of the remaining bowls and add enough green food colouring to tint the mixture pastel green. Spoon it into the next section of the pan.
- Stir the dissolved cocoa into the third bowl and spoon it into the last section of the pan. Spread the tops of all three mixtures level.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Assembling The Cake:
- Carefully remove the foil-covered cards to separate the three cakes. Trim the sides of the cakes to neat rectangles and cut each one into three lengthways to give 9 equal-size long strips of cake.
- Brush warm apricot jam over the sides of the strips and layer them on top of each other, alternating the colours. Brush jam over the cake, leaving the ends plain.
- Knead yellow colouring into the marzipan to tint it golden yellow. Roll it out on a board dusted with icing sugar until it is the same length as the cake but just over four times the width.
- Knead the food colouring gradually into the marzipan until it is the desired shade. Avoid over-kneading as this will make the marzipan oily and sticky.
- Lift the cake onto the marzipan and wrap it around the cake, pressing it lightly against the sponge and pinching the edges together to make a firm join. Brush away any icing sugar from the surface of the marzipan.
Decorating The Cake:
- Roll out the sugarpaste on a board lightly dusted with icing sugar and cut out flowers using a daisy cutter. Press them into a piece of sponge with a sugarcraft ball tool so they are slightly cup-shaped and stick a green sugar pearl in the centre of each with edible glue. Leave until the sugarpaste is firm.
- Arrange the flowers and extra sugar pearls on top of the cake, fixing them in place with edible glue.
Recipe courtesy of www.the-bake-box.com
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