Saturday, 18 December 2010

How To Ice A Christmas Cake

White Christmas Tree Cake

Red Christmas Tree Cake

I love icing the Christmas Cakes. This year I decided to go for a Christmas Tree - how cute! Classy enough for adults, fun enough for children! 

I always use almond paste and regal icing. I have to make the almond paste myself and always buy the Ready To Roll Regal Icing - it makes life a little easier!

I've always used Delia Smith's recipe for almond paste. The eggs are cooked over a bain marie, so everyone can eat it. It's good for kids, pregnant ladies and the old folks! 

I find marzipan seems to be something you either love or hate. I love it and my husband hates it, which is a real shame, because I could eat until it comes out of my ears.

I've been making almond paste for many years now. I used to help my Nana make it for her Christmas and Simnel Cakes. And when she couldn't get out of bed anymore with arthritis, I went to her house and made it for her. And now she's no longer with us, I have to make it - it's a family tradition! 

So a Christmas Cake wouldn't be the same without Delia's Almond Paste on it!


450g ground almonds
225g caster sugar
225g icing sugar
2 medium eggs
2 medium egg yolks
1 teaspoon almond extract
1½ teaspoon brandy
1½ teaspoon lemon juice

Put the sugars in a large bowl and stir in the eggs. Place over a pan of barely simmering water and  whisk until light and fluffy. Take off heat and continue to whisk. Add almond extract, lemon and brandy. Continue to whisk until cool.

Now add the almonds and knead to form a paste. I placed mine in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes.

Paint the cake with warmed jam. Roll out almond paste and cover the cake. I cut my 18cm square cake into quarters to make 4 smaller cakes. I find no one ever wants to cut into a big one!

I left my almond paste to set over night. The next day I rolled out the Regal Icing, painted cooled, boiled water over the almond paste and covered with the smooth white blanket! It's up to you how you decorate them! 
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