Cream butter and 1 cup sugar together.Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time.Mix in vanilla.Stir in flour, baking powder and salt gently.Add milk if needed.
Divide batter into 2 equal parts.Add food coloring to 1 part to make a deep pink color.Grease two 7 inch square pans.Spread batters into pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) until an inserted wooden pick comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes.Let stand in pans 5 minutes.Turn out on racks to cool.
Trim edges from both cakes.Cut each cake lengthwise into 4 strips as wide as the cake is thick.Trim to make strips match.Heat jam slightly.Spread on sides to glue 2 pink and 2 white strips together checkerboard fashion.Spread all 4 sides of completed cake with jam. Repeat with remaining pink and white stripes.Makes two cakes.
To Make Almond Paste:Mix almonds, confectioners’ sugar, egg, lemon juice, and almond extract together.Knead until smooth, adding a bit of lemon juice or water if too dry to roll. Add only 1/2 teaspoon at a time.It will be stiff.Divide into 2 equal parts.
Roll 1/2 of paste 1/8 inch or so thick on a surface lightly dusted with confectioners’ sugar.Cut to fit length of cake, and long enough to cover 4 sides leaving ends uncovered.Lay cake on one end of paste.Wrap to completely enclose all 4 sides of cake pinching paste to seal.Roll in granulated sugar.Place with seal underneath on serving plate, or store in plastic bag.Repeat for second cake.Chill.Slice thinly to serve.
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