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How To Ice a Christmas Cake

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An iced Christmas cake is a Western institution, the icing invoking the magic of the snow-covered world outside while inside the festive spirit can be found. Icing is the final step in creating the perfect home-made Christmas cake.
What you'll need: 
4 eggs
250-300g blanched almonds, skins removed
750-800g icing sugar
Almond extract
Pinch of salt
25ml Lemon juice
15ml liquid glycerine
Rolling pin
Paring knife
Apricot jam
Place almonds, almond extract, half the lemon juice, salt, 1 whole egg & 2 yolks and 250-300g of icing sugar in a blender. Blend on a high setting until absolutely smooth and completely mixed. Place in a covered bowl in the fridge for an hour.
Remove the marzipan from the fridge and turn out onto a hard, clean work surface dusted with icing sugar. Knead the marzipan by hand until softened.
Place your cake on the work surface on non-stick baking paper. Divide the marzipan into two balls. Using the rolling pin, roll out one half to fit the top of the cake. Roll out the second half and cut into a strip/strips to cover the sides of the cake.
Warm 2-3 tbsp of apricot jam and spread all over the cake. This will help the marzipan stick to the cake. Place the marzipan on the cake using your fingers to gently connect the pieces.
Cover the whole cake with a large, clean tea towel and place in a cool, dry place for a day or two.
Begin making the outer 'Royal' icing. Place three egg whites in a clean bowl and begin whisking. It is a good idea to use an electric whisk as this is a lengthy and tiring process. Slowly add the sugar while continuously whisking.
The egg whites will eventually begin to form soft 'peaks'. At this point you should add the lemon juice and glycerine. Continue whisking until these are mixed in.
Use a spatula to spread the icing all over the cake. Place the cake in the fridge for a short while before carefully returning to the cake tin.
Fully iced your Christmas cake will not only look the part, it will also retain all of it's flavour and moistness.


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