Making the Christmas cake is a precious part of the festive period; a tradition I always look forward to.
With Christmas music and the twinkle of fairy lights (yes I even have a tree in the kitchen!) in the background, stirring and decorating the cake is joyful.
I favour a slightly lighter cake and always use the classic Boiled Fruit Cake recipe, which our customers have been baking for decades.
I’ve heard many lovely stories about people using this recipe for weddings and special birthdays as well as Christmas.
Once the cake is cold, apply a thin layer of marzipan:
1. Sprinkle icing sugar onto a clean work surface and onto a rolling pin.
2. Roll out 300g (10oz) marzipan to about 3mm (1/8in) thick.
3. Brush the top of the cake with warm plum or apricot jam.
4. Place the cake upside down on the marzipan and push down slightly. Cut around the cake about 1cm (1/3in) larger than its top.
5. Turn the cake over and press the marzipan down all around the top.
6. Measure the height of the cake and re-roll the marzipan into a long strip to the same size.
7. Brush the sides of the cake with the jam and then roll the marzipan around the circumference, sticking it to the cake as you go.
And for the icing:
1. Whisk 2 egg whites in a mixing bowl until frothy and then beat in 450g (1lb) icing sugar, a little at a time. You can use an electric whisk for this at first but then use a wooden spoon or the icing sugar will cover you and the kitchen!
2. Beat in 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp glycerine.
3. Spread all over the cake; to the desired texture and allow to firm up.
For the decoration:
This is personal to you. I’ve added gingerbread stars (here’s a gorgeous recipe for these) and sugar snowflakes, a dusting of icing sugar and finished with a ribbon, but choose what you like most – you could use some wintry foliage, or dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks, or the classic cake decorations you have used for years.
With my mum I would decorate the cake with a snowy scene adorned with little pottery snowmen and figures on sledges – I think some were older than me! Mum tells me she still has them, so I’ve requested them for next year’s cake. Happy memories.
I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.