Tradition is a funny thing. In our house traditions are often to do with food. As usual this Christmas my step-Dad, David, made a beautiful fruit cake in early November using a classic Delia Smith recipe! Every week or so up to Christmas, almost like his own advent calendar, he would drizzle it with brandy to make it nice and boozy and moist.
The real work for this cake is done by David. He is a fabulous chef and makes a brilliant Christmas cake!
My role is a more decorative, and this year was done on Christmas Eve. I start by putting David’s fab cake onto a board and brushing it with warmed, running jam (this year marmalade).
The second step is marzipan! I use ready made and rolled out because it’s always okay to cheat (and often cheaper). Because marzipan is underneath the icing it can be messy, and this year providing structure to the overall cake – I added more marzipan to the corners to make it flat and square. The easiest way to get it onto the cake is to lay it over the top, fold round the corners almost like wrapping a present and then cut down the fold and smooth it all down. The best way to practise a brilliant smooth finish for an iced cake is to practise with the softer more mouldable marzipan! The marzipan is usually put on a day before icing to let it dry out.
The final step (and my favourite step) is the icing. Again for ease I use ready rolled white icing and would usually lay it onto the cake like the marzipan. This year my design, a table lined by a tablecloth, made it even easier! All I did was lay the icing down and crease it in places to look like a cloth.
The finishing touches of my design were mostly made of ready made and coloured icing the night before so that they had time to set. Once I had the icing on I spent time arranging and ‘glueing’ the roast dinner shaped icing onto the cake. This is the bit I love because it allows me to creative, unique and a perfectionist.
This is one of my favourite and quirky designs. I try to improve every year with creativity. I can’t wait to eat it but cutting through my hard work always seems a shame.