Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Cake Part 2 - the Marzipan

I like to think I'm a glass half full kinda gal most of the time. Generally, I find it much easier to cope with life if I can look on the positive side and try not to dwell too much on things that haven't gone so well - the 'character building' things I was muttering about a couple of weeks ago. I know I don't always succeed, but mostly, I can pull myself together pretty quickly.

So looking on the bright side - as I can, now that the pain is under control - of this whole painful jaw episode, if I hadn't been flying on pain killers this week, I would have gone out drinking and carousing the other night. And as I have been trying to take things easy, I sat down and watched TV, instead of running around doing a million other things at home, and caught the Christmas Great British Bake Off programme. As a result of that, I remembered that I'd made a Christmas cake and it needed icing. I also realised that if I got a move on, I could do the whole icing bit properly: marzipan first, and leave it to dry, before topping with the actual icing. I even had some apricot jam knocking around, to do the whole brushing the cake bit to get the marzipan to stick. Normally, I end up using marmalade and picking out the bits - or not, depending on the mood I'm in. To be honest, the extra orange peel can add an extra something to the cake...

Now I did wonder if this year would be the year that I made my own marzipan. It's not.

So moving swiftly on, I got down the cake and unwrapped it from its foil parcel - fantastic smells all round. I have to say that it's not a particularly boozy cake - I do prefer to drink my alcohol than eat it given the choice - but there's a definite aroma of Christmas to it - sherry-tinged Christmas this year.

I have a piece of granite chopping board which I use for rolling things out (got it in Sainsburys - it's nothing grand), so I dusted that with icing sugar, then put a couple of dessertspoons of apricot jam into a small pan on a low heat to melt.

I rolled out a pack of golden marzipan so that it would cover the cake, top and sides, and some (you want to have trimmings to make tasteful decorations for the final cake, anyway). Brush the melted jam over the cake, and then cover with the marzipan. You need to get the blunt side of a knife and kind of tuck the marzipan in under the cake and trim it off. I did notice that Mary iced her cake by having the flat side uppermost, which would probably make the tucking in and trimming off bit easier, but in all the excitement I was feeling this evening about actually wanting to do something in the kitchen after the last week of indifference, I got a bit carried away and forget. Anyway, it wasn't that hard:

So now my cake is all marzipanned and can dry out before I put the icing on. This has never happened before. It also leaves me some time to consider what beautiful cake adornments to turn my left over marzipan into, instead of doing it all at once in a hurry.

Any ideas gratefully received.


  1. Bravo! I must admit I've not done this with fruit cake although I have covered sponge cakes with a layer of marzipan before sugarpaste. Can't wait to see the next stage!

    1. Me neither! Still haven't decided what to do with the marzipan. Polar bears keep popping into my head, but I think that might be a little ambitious.


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