How to apply Marzipan to your Christmas Cake

Marzipan is applied to a fruit cake to act as a protective seal and a flat surface between a dark, sticky, potentially leaky cake and a crisp, white icing.  If you really don’t like marzipan, it is possible to apply fondant icing directly to the cake, but you must make it very thick or the cake may start to show through and it will be much harder to get the surface flat.

Like anything else, getting marzipan flat and even is a skill, but if you are just starting out, you can easily disguise any small bumps with icing.  The design I’m going to demonstrate does not necessitate perfect flat icing and is therefore ideal for a beginner or someone who simply doesn’t have time to do something more complicated.

One day, I’ll tell you how to make your own marzipan, but not now.  Life’s too short.

Utensils:
1 x rolling pin
1 x flour shaker loaded with icing sugar
1 sharp knife
1 x ordinary knife
1 x cake board – about an inch wider than the cake all round

Ingredients:
2 packets of Marzipan (you may only need one, but better safe than sorry)
Apricot jam (not with chunks of fruit in)
Icing sugar for dusting surfaces
1 rich fruit cake

Method:
Spread some jam quite thickly in the middle of the board
Place the cake centrally on top of it

Cover the cake with jam

Cover the cake in a thin layer of apricot jam

Light dust the worktop with icing sugar
Roll out the marzipan to between ½ and 1cm thick – depending on how much you like marzipan

Using the cake tin in which you baked the cake as a template, cut out a circle in the marzipan

Place marzipan neatly on the top

Place it neatly on top of the cake
Use scraps to fill in any gaps between the bottom of the cake and the board

Use marzipan to fill gaps

Knead the marzipan into a ball

Dust the surface with icing sugar again and roll the marzipan into a long strip, approximately the circumference and height of the cake
Trim the bottom edge straight with the sharp knife

Wrap marzipan carefully round the sides

Wrap the marzipan carefully around the cake, making sure it sticks to the jam

Trim with a sharp knife

Using a sharp knife, dipped in water, trim the marzipan so that it forms a neat edge in line with the top

Using a clean, damp cloth, wipe any scuffs off the top and any stickiness off the cake board

Roll the rolling pin gently over the top to make sure it is nice and flat

Marzipanned!

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2 Responses to How to apply Marzipan to your Christmas Cake

  1. Peter Ashley December 16, 2009 at 07:25 #

    I love marzipan, me. And the fact that a newly-marzipanned cake looks just like a newly-made Cheddar cheese. You get that, don’t you, foods looking like other foods. Except I can’t think of any just at the moment. But a glass of water can easily be mistaken for gin.

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