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Martha Collison's Christmas fruit cake – how to decorate
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Makes: 20cm cake (20 slices)
See my recipe for Christmas fruit cake
FOR THE ROYAL ICING
3 Waitrose British Blacktail Large Free Range
700g icing sugar, sieved plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp glycerine
2 tbsp lemon juice
FOR THE CAKE COVERING
3 tbsp apricot jam, sieved
750g white or golden marzipan
Gold or silver lustre spray or Waitrose Christmas Edible Gold or Silver Stars
1. To make the royal icing for your fruit cake, pour the egg whites into a bowl and whisk using a handheld electric whisk until they look frothy, then add the sieved icing sugar a tablespoon at a time. Whisk well after each addition until all the sugar has been used. Add the glycerine and lemon juice, then whisk for a few minutes more until the icing is thick and holds stiff peaks.
2. Heat the sieved apricot jam in a small pan. Place the Christmas cake face down onto a large chopping board. Brush all over with a thin layer of jam, then roll out the marzipan on a surface dusted with icing sugar so it is large enough to completely cover the cake. Drape the rolled marzipan over the top of the cake and use your hands to press it to the shape of the outside. Trim off any excess and don’t worry if it’s not perfect as it will be covered by icing.
3. Spoon the royal icing onto the top of the marzipan-covered cake and use a palette knife to spread it over the whole surface, swirling it to create a choppy appearance. Sprinkle with a few edible gold or silver stars or a dusting of lustre spray, if liked, and leave to harden completely (around 2-3 days) before enjoying. The iced cake will keep for up to 2 weeks.
This recipe was first published in November 2017.