Snowy icing over a moist layer of marzipan turns a fine cake into a festive centrepiece. You can either make your own cake, following Richard Bertinet’s recipe, or start with a top quality ready-made, un-iced Christmas cake (20cm in diameter, 8-10cm deep), then follow our simple steps to success
You will need:
String to measure
4 tbsp apricot jam
Boiling water to mix
Icing sugar to dust
2 x 500g blocks natural (uncoloured) marzipan, kneaded together
2 x 500g blocks ready-made white fondant icing, kneaded together
1. Measure the cake with the string. Run it up one side, across the top at its widest point and down the other side – this is how big you’ll need to roll the marzipan. Mix 2 tbsp of the apricot jam with a little boiling water, then brush all over the cake.
2. On a work surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan into a large circle (the same diameter as the string). Use the rolling pin to help you lift the marzipan and carefully place it over the cake, making sure the centre of the marzipan circle is positioned on the centre of the cake.
3. Carefully smooth the marzipan over the cake with your hands and trim any excess from around the base with a sharp knife. Leave the cake in a cool dry place for a day
or two to dry out before icing.
4. Mix the remaining 2 tbsp apricot jam with a little boiling water, then use a pastry brush to coat the
whole of the marzipan layer.
5. Re-measure the cake as in step 1, then follow step 2 but with the fondant icing. Using an extra bit of icing wrapped in cling film (or with clean hands), carefully smooth the icing over the cake, trimming the excess from the base. Your cake is now ready for decorating.