So, I made the Christmas cake one month ago and have duly been feeding it brandy. Onto stage 2: the marzipan layer to ‘seal’ the cake before the decorative icing goes on. Until last year, I always made my Christmas cake but then bought ready-made marzipan. I also wasn’t a great fan of the stuff. However, last year I made Simnel cake and followed Lisa Faulkner’s recipe for the marzipan: complete convert! I now LOVE marzipan (possibly slightly addicted) and also I cannot believe how ridiculously easy it is to make such wonderful stuff. Lightly fragranced and flavoured with almond and vanilla essences, beautifully emphasising the natural gorgeousness of the moist ground almonds, marzipan is a wonder all by itself. Take just a few minutes (that really is all it takes) to make your own: you won’t look back!
Makes enough for the 20cm round Christmas cake already blogged and a large handful left over for general mucking about with.
What you need…
500g ground almonds
250g caster sugar
250g icing sugar
½ teaspoon almond essence
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon lemon juice
What to do…
Chuck all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and use and handheld electric whisk to beat everything together. When marble-sized balls have been formed, discard the whisk and use your hands to knead the marzipan together into a dough.
Roll the dough out to your personal desired thickness (I do mine just a little thicker than a pound coin but I know some people prefer more and there’s certainly enough marzipan here to accommodate a greater appetite!)
Measure the height of your cake and cut a long strip of marzipan wide enough to wrap around the cake and deep enough to go from top to bottom.
Brush apricot jam all over the side of the cake and stick your marzipan strip to it.
Likewise with the top. Use the original cake tin that you cooked the Christmas cake in as a template to cut out a circle. Brush the top of the cake with the jam and pop on your marzipan circle. Use your fingertips to blend in the sides and top of the marzipan covering.
Pop in a cake tin and leave to dry out for a couple of days before having fun with icing (blog to follow).
The cake was Delia’s and the marzipan is inspired by Lisa Faulkner.
Just a quick mix of ingredients: couldn’t be easier!