Icing a Christmas Cake

500g/1lb 2oz marzipan
1-2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed

For the royal icing

3 egg whites
600g/1lb 5oz icing sugar, sieved, plus extra for dusting
1½ tsp liquid glycerine - optional
1 tbsp lemon juice


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 half the marzipan to fit the top of the cake and roll out the rest in strips to fit around the sides of the cake.
4. Brush the cake all over with the warmed apricot jam and then place the marzipan on top and around the cake. for at least one day.
5. Trim away any excess marzipan. Cover the cake with a clean tea towel and then leave in a cool place
6. To make the icing, lightly whisk the egg whites adding the sugar at intervals.
7. Beat well until the icing forms soft peaks when the whisk is removed. Add the glycerine, if using, and the lemon juice.
8. Spread the icing all over the cake. You can either spread it quite casually, work it into little peaks or spread it flat and smooth using a clean ruler or icing spreader. ornaments.
9. Leave to dry before decorating with Christmas

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