- 20cm square vanilla sponge cake
- Vanilla buttercream
- 4 tbsp apricot preserve, warmed
- 300g marzipan
- 100g semisweet chocolate, melted, for decorating (optional)
For the icing
- 750g icing sugar, sifted
- 125ml water
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pink and baby blue food colouring
Slice the sponge cake in half horizontally. Wrap and freeze one half. Carefully slice the remaining cake in half horizontally again to create two layers of cake, each about 1cm thick. Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the bottom sponge layer, using aspatula. Place the other half of the sponge on top of the buttercream. Brush the top and sides of the sponge cake with the warmed preserve, using a pastry brush.
Using a non-stick rolling pin, roll out the marzipan into a square about 3mm thick, then place it on top of the cake and gently press it down with the palm of your hand or a cake smoother to make sure that it sticks firmly to the cake. Use a knife to trim the marzipan so that it doesn’t hang over the sides of the cake. Score 2.5cm squares into it with a sharp knife. Place the sponge in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Meanwhile, make the icing by combining the sugar, water, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in a saucepan, and stir the mixture continuously over a low heat. Place a sugar thermometer into the mixture. At 33°C, the icing should be a pouring consistency but not too thin. Carefully increase the temperature to 45– 50°C. Remove the thermometer – if the icing sets hard on the tip of it within seconds the icing is ready. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in two to three drops of pink food colouring.
Remove the sponge from the refrigerator and cut it into 2.5cm squares, using the scored lines as a guide. In turn, sit each sponge square on a fork held over the bowl of icing, then use a spoon to pour the warm icing over the square, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl. Place the squares on a wire rack to dry before putting them into petit four cake liners. Store the cakes in an airtight container for up to three days.