This checkerboard loaf cake recipe calls for two pound cake mixes, raspberry jam, purchased marzipan, and fresh raspberries and mint leaves. Make the centerpiece dessert to serve at a luncheon or tea party.
Grease and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans; set aside. Prepared pound cake mixes according to package directions (make each package separately). Spread batter from 1 mix into 1 of the prepared pans. Tint second batter pink with food coloring; spread into the second pan. Bake cakes according to package directions or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pans on a rack 10 minutes; remove from pans; cool completely.
To assemble, trim crusts from sides, ends, and tops of cakes to make evenly shaped loaves. Trim loaves so each measures 7-1/2x4x3/4 inches. Cut pink loaf into 5 logs measuring 7-1/2x1x3/4 inches. You will have some cake leftover from each loaf; use for another dessert.
Drizzle the 9 logs with orange juice; set aside. In a small saucepan combine the raspberry jam and corn syrup; heat and stir over low heat until jam is melted and mixture is smooth; set aside.
In a bowl knead marzipan with your hands to soften. Sprinkle both sides of marzipan with powdered sugar; roll between 2 sheets of waxed paper to a 12x8-inch rectangle. (If desired, roll marzipan to a 15x8-inch rectangle; trim 3 inches from a short side and use to cut decorative shapes for garnishes.) Brush off excess sugar.
Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Brush jam mixture on 1 long side of a plain cake log. Place log crosswise in the center of marzipan sheet, jam side down. Brush jam mixture on the other 3 long sides of log. Brush a long side of 2 pink logs with jam mixture. Place, jam side down, on each side of the plain log. Brush exposed long sides with jam mixture. For second layer, place another pink log on top of first plain log. Brush exposed sides with jam. Place 2 plain logs on either side of the second pink log, brushing exposed sides with jam. Repeat layering with remaining cake logs, alternating colors to make checkerboard pattern. Press logs together.
Bring marzipan up over sides of cake so edges meet at top of cake, covering long sides but not ends. Crimp marzipan to seal; decorate top with marzipan trimmings as desired. Transfer to a serving plate. Using a serrated knife, trim cake and marzipan to make ends even.
Let cake stand, covered, for several hours or overnight before serving. If desired, garnish with Sugared Raspberries and Mint Leaves. Makes 8 servings.
Sugared Raspberries and Mint Leaves
Place dried egg whites and water in a 6-ounce custard cup; stir together with a wire whisk or fork. Place superfine or granulated sugar in a shallow dish. Using a pastry brush, brush egg white mixture onto berries and mint leaves; roll in sugar. Allow to dry on a wire rack. Arrange atop marzipan.