A little post about making marzipan and a reminder that your cake needs fed …
The world’s best Christmas cake … ever! – Part 1 can be found here. It’s not too late to begin, but you do need to get a move on now … there’s feeding to be done!
Feeding the cake is pretty much where we left things last time, since then I’ve been feeding my cake sporadically and in varying quantities although it should amount to the same as would have been fed were I more organised and reliable than I am! The cakes should be starting to feel moist to the touch and remember if you feel it’s getting too wet just hold-off on feeding it for a while, there’re no hard and fast rules here!
Homemade marzipan … it’s sublime. I’ve made my own marzipan in the past, and I must be honest and say that it tastes so-o much better than the shop bought stuff. You don’t need to make your own, indeed I won’t be making my own this year as I’ve found it to be rather expensive in the past and we’re not as affluent as we once were … not that I’m complaining you understand, life simply moves on and I’m not about to dwell on the past, be it good, bad or indifferent.
If you do decide to make your own marzipan, by all means assemble the ingredients now but don’t go racing ahead, wait until you’re going to decorate the cake and do the marzipan at the same time.
This recipe should make about 1kg / 2lb and you’ll need:
- 250g / 8oz caster sugar
- 250g / 8oz sifted icing sugar
- 500g / 1ib ground almonds
- i tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp almond flavouring / extract
- 2 egg yolks. beaten
- Combine the sugars and ground almonds in a bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Add the lemon juice, flavouring and enough egg yolk to make a firm but pliable dough. If you make the mix too ‘wet’ use some icing sugar to counter the effect.
- Transfer to a lightly sugared work surface and knead the dough until it is smooth. The marzipan is now ready for use.
It has been suggested that the marzipan can be stored for up to two days before use if it is wrapped in foil or film and kept in the refrigerator, I strongly recommend though that you make it immediately before you need it and use it then.
I will be decorating our cake on around the 20th if you wish to follow the recipe at that point you will need:
- approx. 1kg / 2lb marzipan (homemade or shop bought … it’s up to you)
- Apricot jam, for ‘gluing’ the marzipan and icing on
- approx. 1kg / 2lb of royal icing (homemade or shop bought … again, it’s your call)
- whatever decorative bits n’ bobs you want …
If you’re making your own Royal Icing you’ll need:
- 3 egg whites
- approx 750g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 – 1.5 tsp glycerine (not compulsory)
In the meantime, remember to keep feeding those cakes, and don’t forget to buy (or make) something nice for your nearest and dearest :)