christ­mas cake

Have a go at bak­ing this sweet show­stop­per!

Style at Home (UK) - - Contents -

FOR THE CAKE

3 large eggs 300g plain flour 250g but­ter, soft­ened 250g light mus­co­v­ado sugar 1tbsp ground mixed spice Pinch of salt 410g jar of mince­meat 500g dried mixed fruit

4tbsp brandy TO DEC­O­RATE 6tbsp sieved apri­cot jam 750g white marzi­pan ic­ing sugar 250g green sug­arpaste 350g red sug­arpaste 100g skin­colour sug­arpaste 1kg white sug­arpaste

knob of trex 150g black sug­arpaste

1 Pre­heat the oven to 140°C/gas 1 while you mix up the cake. Put the oven shelf just below the cen­tre of the oven.

2 Break the eggs into a bowl and mix in the rest of the in­gre­di­ents, ex­cept for the brandy. Beat un­til smooth, then spoon into a lined 20cm round cake tin.

3 Bake the cake for 3hrs or un­til the cake feels firm to the touch and a skewer in­serted comes out clean.

4 Re­move the cake from the oven and place the tin on a wire rack to cool for 15mins. Spoon over the brandy and leave the cake to cool com­pletely in the tin.

5 Re­move the cake from the tin and peel away the lin­ing paper. Brush a lit­tle jam over the cake. Roll out the marzi­pan on a sur­face lightly dusted with ic­ing sugar un­til big enough to cover the cake. Smooth down with an ic­ing smoother and trim any ex­cess.

6 Knead the green sug­arpaste to soften it and roll out. Wet the top of a 30cm round drum cake­board and cover with the sug­arpaste. Trim away any ex­cess and pol­ish the sur­face with the ic­ing smoother. Place a lit­tle jam in the cen­tre and po­si­tion the cake on top.

7 Draw around the cake tin you used to bake the cake in and then draw a face. This will be used as a tem­plate later.

If you’re not a fan of fruit cake bake a Madeira sponge In­stead and fill with jam and but­ter­cream

8 Knead the red sug­arpaste to soften it and roll out into a long strip, just wider than the height of the cake. Cut one edge to give a straight line. Brush wa­ter on the side of the cake. Roll up the red sug­arpaste and then un­wrap it around the cake, with the straight cut edge against the cake drum.

9 Rub the red sug­arpaste with the ic­ing smoother and use a knife to cut away any sur­plus sug­arpaste around the top edge.

10 Roll out some more red sug­arpaste and cut out the hat. Brush wa­ter on the back of the piece and stick into place.

11 Roll out some of the skin-coloured sug­arpaste, cut out the face shape and stick in place with wa­ter. Roll out some white sug­arpaste and cut out the brim of the hat. Use a round cut­ter to cut the bobble for the hat and both sides of the mous­tache and leave to dry flat.

12 Add some Trex to the black sug­arpaste to make it soft enough to go through a su­gar­craft gun. If you don’t have a su­gar­craft gun, then roll out the paste by hand into a long sausage. Brush wa­ter on to the cake where the black lines are needed, po­si­tion it on the cake, or squeeze the sug­arpaste into place if us­ing a gun. Press it down lightly, when the bobble is dry stick it on top of the hat.

13 Roll 2 balls of black sug­arpaste and stick in place for the eyes, and make a curved shape for the mouth. Roll an oval-shaped piece of skin-coloured sug­arpaste and stick in place for the nose. Place a line of black sug­arpaste around the base, as shown. Se­cure a rib­bon around the edge of the cake board us­ing dou­ble-sided tape, to fin­ish.

Dec­o­rate a ready-made fruit cake if you don’t have time to bake

Care­fully wrap around the red sug­arpaste

Draw a tem­plate of your de­sign

Place the cake in the cen­tre of the board

stick on to the cake with wa­ter

Cut out the dif­fer­ent shapes

Pipe around the black sug­arpaste

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