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Joyeux Noël!  Merry Christmas! Geseënde Kersfees!

So much time and effort go into making a traditional fruit Christmas cake, soaking the fruit, baking the cake and the nurturing as you feed your cake lovingly, over several weeks, with your favourite alcohol. That love and attention all come through in the taste when you finally slice a piece and put that first forkful in your mouth. But, for many, though, what makes a Christmas cake really special is the marzipan, icing and decorations. It takes about 2 to 3 days of drying so start on the covering about 5 days before the big day – Christmas, of course.

Tips:
Turn the cake upside down before covering it in marzipan – the sharper edges of what was the base will give the finished cake a neater appearance.
I posted the actual cake recipe on November 12. Click here to see that recipe.  Cake part 1
Now, lets get started on the covering.

img_8797img_8798img_8801img_8802img_8803img_8806img_8808img_8843Ingredients:

6 tablespoons smooth apricot jam, warmed
300g white marzipan
500 g / 1 lb icing sugar (powdered sugar) sifted
3 egg whites

Preparation:

  1. Place the cake on a foil board or cake plate

  2. Dust your hands and the work surface with a little icing sugar and knead the marzipan until soft

  3. Roll out the marzipan to fit the cake

  4. Brush the cake all over with the warmed apricot jam and then place the marzipan on top and around the cake

  5. Roll the marzipan onto the rolling pin, then unroll it onto the centre of the cake, smooth it with your hands and trim the excess
  6. Cover the cake with a clean tea towel and then leave in a cool place for at least one day

  7. To make the icing, place the egg whites in a bowl, then stir in the icing sugar, a spoonful at a time, until the icing falls thickly from the spoon

  8. At this stage whisk with an electric whisk for 10 minutes or until the icing stands up in stiff peaks

  9. Now spread the icing all over the top and sides of the cake as evenly as possible using a palette knife

  10. Switch to a broad-bladed knife (or smaller palette knife) to ‘spike’ the icing all over to give a snow-scene effect

  11. Leave the cake overnight in a cool place for the icing to dry out before placing it in a container till needed

  12. Decorate with Christmas ornaments

  13. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

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