Decorating the Christmas Cake
It’s Christmas Eve, which for some means decorating the tree but in the Chapple house it’s all about decorating the cake. I got carried away with making the Christmas cake at the start of November and ever since I have been feeding it with brandy or orange juice every week. Now the big moment has come to give the cake it’s crowning glory!
Christmas cakes are traditionally covered in marzipan, then fondant or royal icing. Alternatively you might see a layer of dried fruits and nuts baked into the top of the Christmas cake. Being more interested in the cake than a thick layer of icing, I have decided to mix up the 2 approaches. Placing a think layer of marzipan over the cake can then covering it in festive dried fruits for a beautiful finish.
Not only is it easy and effective it was quick too, you will need a pack of white marzipan, jar of apricot jam plus a selection of dried fruits. I used medjool dates, apricots and figs but you could include a selection of your favourite nuts too.
Roll out the marzipan to approx 5mm deep, using the bottom of the tin you used to bake the cake, cut a piece of marzipan to fit the size of your cake. Warm a large table spoon of apricot jam and brush a thin layer of the jam on the top of the Christmas cake, then place the marzipan on top of the cake. The jam will help keep the marzipan in place.
Next brush a thin layer of the apricot jam to the top of the marzipan. You can now place your fruit (and nuts if using) to the top of the marzipan. When you are happy with the pattern, lightly brush the top of the fruit (and nuts) with the remaining warm apricot jam to create a lovely shine to the fruit.
As I had a few off cuts of marzipan, I made a several marzipan balls and added them to the centre of the cake.
It’s that simple, in under 30 minutes we have a beautiful bejewelled Christmas cake.
I would love to see how you have decorated your christmas cake?