Thursday, December 20, 2007

#18 Marzipan, #19 Royal Icing

Finished off the cake yesterday, and it looks as though it is a success. It was all pretty straight-forward really.

First (#18) Marzipan; sieve 8 ounces of icing sugar into a large bowl containing a pound of ground almonds. In a small bowl, beat an egg with 3 or 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Use a wooden spoon or the beater attachment on a food mixer to form a paste. Use a knife to cut off the top of the Christmas Cake so that it is nice and flat on top. Knead the marzipan a little while and then roll two thirds out using icing sugar instead of flour to form a top circle, gluing it in place with some warmed apricot jam. The Grigson gave a handy hint at this point – roll everything out on a bit of greaseproof paper to prevent it sticking and falling to bits. She is a star! Now roll out an oblong of marzipan to wrap around the cake, again sticking it with apricot jam.

FYI: Marzipan originated in Persia (now Iran/Iraq), but its name originates from the German for 'March bread'.

(#19) Royal Icing was quite exciting to do; whip two egg whites until foamy but not stiff. Stir in two teaspoons of lemon juice and then, bit by bit, sieved icing sugar until a glossy spreadable icing is formed. Spread it over the marzipan using a palette knife, dipping the knife in water to prevent the icing from sticking. I have no piping bags - nor have I ever used one - so I did a lovely festive snow effect by gently whacking it with a palette knife! It looks very impressive even if I do say so myself. I forgot to buy decorations though! Poo!


Jane said...

Hi. I know I'm commenting on a very old post but you might like to know this.

It isn't necessary to slice of the top of the cake to get a smooth top. Just turn the cake upside down. The bottom is always flat. The marzipan will hide the uneven edge at the bottom of the cake.

When putting on the marzipan it's useful to have an empty jamjar. Roll it round the side of the cake when you've put the marzipan on and it will smooth out the surface and get rid of you finger marks.

Finally, I've only just discovered yr blog and like it a lot. I've added it to my blogroll. My cooking blog:

Neil Buttery said...

Thanks Jane - glad you like the blog! i'll add you to my list too.

I knew about that trick actually - though it was in the recesses of my mind! This will be tyhe first year since starting this that I haven't made this Christmas cake - it is a great recipe

bardlr said...

Thank heaven for people like you. I am away from home without my Jane Grigson English Food. When I wanted to check her marzipan recipe, there was your blog. Thanks again.

Neil Buttery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil Buttery said...

Ah! Glad I can be of some service! It's a good one, for sure.

Happy baking and thanks for the comment!