A few weeks ago I baked our fruitcake for Christmas. I followed the recipe of late Allan Burke which was provided to us by his family. Fruitcakes need a month or two to allow for maturation and flavour development. But now comes the fun part – decorating the cake and putting your festive Christmas stamp on it!
Sprinkle the fruitcake with a last bit of brandy or whichever liqueur you’ve been using before brushing the entire cake with melted apricot jam. Roll outa decent piece of marzipan, cut out a band to roll around the sides of the cake and cut out a large enough circle to cover the top of the cake. Smooth the marzipan out, using a little corn flour and a plastic scraper.
We first cover the cake with marzipan so that it fills up all the uneven parts of the cake. We also do it because it tastes so nice! Once the marzipan is smooth all over, it will be easier to cover the cake with plastic icing and achieve a smooth final product. Marzipan can be bought at baking stores or at some supermarkets. It is, however, much, much tastier to prepare your own almond paste. Flavours like rosewater or orange blossom can be added to make it so much more special than regular store bought marzipan. Follow this link to find out how to make your own almond paste.
Set the marzipan covered cake aside and knead the fondant icing to make it smooth and elastic. If you want to colour it, add the colouring now and knead it through until evenly coloured. Use a rolling pin to roll the fondant out. If there are any air pockets trapped in the icing, prick them with a pin and continue rolling. The fondant should be about 1cm thick. Make use of sifted corn flour to prevent the fondant from sticking to the surface.
Brush the marzipan with a little water andthen gently roll the fondant over the rolling pin and unroll it over the cake to cover it. Smooth it out with your hands first. Trim the excess icing and then smooth it out using the plastic scraper again. There shouldn’t be any air pockets, but use the pin if you do spot one.Ifair pockets are left, the icing will crack as it starts drying and yourcreation will be ruined.
Now you can use ribbons and Christmas figurines to decorate your cake the way you want it to look. It can be formal or more funky. I used very cute figurines provide by the lovely Siobhaun Brennan, of Faerie Tales Creative Cakes and Catering. Siobhaun is a member of the Cape Town Tourism and S.A. Cake Decorators Guild. She does exceptional work using fondant icing. She is also very creative with cake decorating and makes beautiful gingerbread housesto order.