I finally got round to marzipanning the Christmas cakes on Tuesday afternoon. I'd tried to find time on the weekend, but it just seemed to slip away & before I knew it, it was Monday again, the start of yet another week of appointments. It would be so nice to have a week or 3 off, but it seems Shaun is in constasnt demand at the hospital, doctor's or clinic. If I never see another medical person again in my life, it will be too soon !! :o)
But - I digress :o) Back to the Christmas cakes :o)
First, gather your bits & pieces together - rolling pin, pastry brush, apricot jam, icing sugar, marzipan, board to roll it on & most importantly - the cakes themselves :o)
Spoon some jam into a saucepan & GENTLY heat it till it becomes runny. While this is happening, roll your marzipan on an icing sugar covered board. You could melt the jam in the microwave if you prefer, but I like to do it in a saucepan on a low heat. I can keep an eye on it better that way.
Brush the melted jam over the top of the cake - if you are marzipanning & icing the sides, do the same to them, too.
Place your cake, jammy side down, on top of your rolled marzipan. I used natural marzipan, but you can use the yellow coloured marzipan if you prefer :o) You can also place the marzipan on top of the cake, rather than the way I do it, but I do it that way because I find it easier to cut the marzipan to shape & trim away any excess :o)
The marzipanned cake :o) As you can see, I only do the top. I think too much marzipan & icing makes the cake a little too sweet, but it's a personal choice. I don't like marzipan at all, nor do I like a lot of icing, so IF I liked Christmas cake, I'd probably pull it all off & just munch on the cake itself :o)
Top tip: when storing the cake, it can be difficult to get it out of the tin, especially a big cake like the one above. It weighs a TON !! So, put it on the lid of the tin & place the tin over the top. It still keeps the cake fresh but makes it easier to take out when needed. Just remember that the tin is UPSIDE DOWN, so be careful when moving it !! You could always wrap some duct tape or parcel tape around it, just to be on the safe side :o)
Smaller cakes are easier to lift in & out, so just store them in a tin or a biscuit box on greaseproof paper. I use individual bits of greaseproof because it helps you get hold of the right cake.Grab a corner, slide your hand underneath & lift :o)
So, there we are. All marzipanned & waiting to be iced & decorated. It takes at least 24 hours for the marzipan to dry, but I normally leave them at least a week before icing, if not longer, just to be sure.
Part 3 when it's icing time :o)