As promised here is part 2 of making this years Christmas cake. Many people don’t ice their cake until a few days before Christmas but I did mine a little earlier this year so that I have more time to enjoy the cake (which always lasts until at least January in my house) and so that I could write this post with enough time to inspire others to give it a go!
The first step is to lightly cover a clean work surface with icing sugar and then roll out a packet of ready to roll marzipan – you could of course make the marzipan yourself, it’s not something I’ve ever tried but I’d like to give it a go. Maybe next year!
Roll the marzipan out until it is large enough to completely cover your cake, but before you put it on the cake you will need to cover your cake in a thin layer of smooth apricot jam to help it stick. Smooth the marzipan over your cake carefully, any creases will disappear if rubbed lightly. Trim off any excess marzipan from the bottom.
At this stage it is best to leave your marzipan covered cake overnight or for up to a week. This is to allow the marzipan to dry out and not discolour the icing. Unfortunately due to work commitments I really needed to get my cake finished in one day so I iced my cake about an hour later, time will tell if that was a big mistake or not! It will certainly be interesting to find out if the drying out is as important as some people say.
To make the icing, gently whisk the whites of three eggs. Then begin to slowly incorporate 600g of icing sugar a bit at a time. Beat until soft peaks form, I switched to an electric hand whisk at this stage to speed things up and give my arms a break! Once soft peaks have formed you can add 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp of liquid glycerine and mix into the icing.
Now you’re ready to ice your cake! You can do a lovely smooth iced cake or create a texture with a knife or a fork, that’s up to you. I went for a very slight texture – as you can see from my pictures I probably could have done with beating my icing for a little longer as it did begin to slide off my cake!
The final stage is to decorate. I use these old cake decorations that used to belong to my Grandmother, they are faded, dated and pretty tatty looking now but I love them for sentimental reasons and couldn’t imagine decorating my Christmas cake with anything else!
So there you have it, this years Christmas cake! Every year I see beautifully iced and decorated cakes with adventurous designs like snowy scenes with trees and polar bears or shiny glittery cakes covered in ribbon and edible glitter. I’d like to try being that adventurous one year but I really don’t think you can beat a simple, traditional Christmas cake with sentimental family heirloom decorations! What do you think?