Tag Archives: dried pineapple

Snowflake Christmas Cake

18 Dec

Making and decorating my Christmas cake is something I thoroughly enjoy and my annual baking/feeding/icing/decorating extravaganza is always an absolute pleasure. Which is strange really, because I’m not crazy about fruit cake. But, even if I don’t love eating it I do adore makng it. This year I once again made a Tropical fruit cake. It’s so simple and if you fancy ringing the changes and trying something different to the usual I heartily recommend  it.  Make your usual fruit cake recipe but replace the traditional sultanas, raisins etc, with dried mango, dried pineapple, a little dessicated coconut if you wish, and of course a variety of nuts. As long as the weights are the same you can mix up the fruits as much as you wish. Before making the cake I steep the fruit not in traditional brandy or sherry but in rum, and then once baked and snugly wrapped, I feed the cake every few weeks with a top-up of rum. After about eight weeks the cake smells utterly divine and is ready to be decorated.

Christmas cake ready for icing.

Each year I spend some time planning the look of my cake and this year I hit upon a snowflake theme. As I didn’t have any snowflake-shaped cutters I bought some as a little treat and they are fabulous and will, I’m sure, be used repeatedly. Mine came from good old Amazon – take a look online for similar cutters, as there are quite a few varieties available.

To begin icing a fruit cake you need to melt some apricot jam, allow it to cool, and then brush it all over the cake. This will enable the marzipan to stick. While the jam is cooling, knead the marzipan and play with it on a work surface sprinkled with icing sugar to prevent it sticking. When it’s lovely and pliable, roll it out. I like to do this in two sections – one round for the top and a long strip to go around the sides. Now with dry and sugared hands, rub the marzipan to smooth and flatten it.

marzipanned

Using your hands, make sure the marzipan encloses the cake completely and then leave it in a warm place, out of direct sunlight (in England! we should be so lucky!) and let it dry out a bit while you get on with preparing the icing.

The snowflake decorations need to be quite dry and firm so they are made next. I rolled out a half a pack of ready-made fondant icing and cut a variety of shapes and sizes. It’s a good idea to cut out more than you think you’ll need because some will break, and some will mysteriously get eaten 😉

Snowflake cutters

I sprinled on some edible glitter and pressed this gently into the snowflakes, then left them to dry out while I got on with preparing the icing to cover the cake.

Snowflakes

Roll out the icing or if you wish, you can be really lazy and buy the ready-rolled sort, and using a rolling pin lift it carefully onto the marzipanned cake. Once again, use your sugared hands to smooth the surface and get it lovely and flat and satiny.

Iced cake

Use a sharp knife to trim off the excess icing (keep the trimmings to make toppings for homemade mince pies) and wrap a pretty ribbon around the base of the cake. Now you can get busy with sticking on the snowflakes. A teeny dab of cooled, boiled water is all you need to fix them in place – as you can see I have even stuck a few snowflakes around the edge, over the ribbon.  The large snowflakes had smaller shapes cut from the centre and these were filled with silver balls.

Snowflake Christmas Cake

To finish the cake I sprinkled on more edible glitter and a light dusting of icing sugar and table confetti on the cake stand.

Only a week until Christmas! Buon appetitio!

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