I wasn’t intending to do a post about the icing of my Christmas cake … it’s not the most thrilling subject (well, not when I have my new pasta attachment for my KitchenAid to blog about) but I so love the picture I took of my mum when we iced the cake that I decided it did deserve a post of it’s own. Doesn’t she look cheeky? It’s brilliant!
So what we did was cut my square Delia cake diagonally into two equal triangles and thinly covered it with marzipan (apply a scraping of apricot jam to the cake first so that the marzipan sticks to it easily – according to my mum I added too much and she told me off). I can’t stand marzipan but I think it’s the law that you have to use it on Christmas cakes.
Then I made a royal icing to cover the cake in a kind of snow scene. You can make it using icing sugar and egg whites (and glycerine to stop it going too hard), but I bought a box of royal icing which just needs to be whipped up with the smallest amount of water. One 500g box is enough to cover a large cake, or just enough to cover one large cake which has been cut in half! It took forever to whisk up, even using my KitchenAid, so definitely don’t even think about doing it by hand.
Once the icing was all whippy and soft-peaky, we spread it over the marzipan to make a gorgeous snowy layer – as it starts to dry and go tacky then you can use a palette knife to make swirls in the ‘snow’. We also made some little snowmen out of marzipan and coated them in the remains of the icing (a bit fiddly, but they did look cute). The festive look was finished with some green and red ribbon tied around the cakes. I also wanted to add some red and green edible glitter but mum pulled rank and wouldn’t let me. Next year …
Beautiful! Not only did the cake look delicious but it also tasted delicious, as you can see from this photo where Andrew’s family came around to sample the cake: they look like a family of hamsters filling their cheeks with food, and that’s absolutely not because I told them to pose like that, but because they completely adored the cake and I could not get them to stop eating it. Honestly.