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Saturday, 21 December 2013

CHRISTMAS "TO DO LIST" ~ MARZIPAN THE CHRISTMAS CAKE

Good Afternoon to you,


Phyllis always says, if you can't keep a promise, then don't make one.  I agree to a certain extent, but sometimes, we are unable to keep promises which we make, no matter how much we try. Do you remember, I promised, I would be returning on Wednesday 18th December, and as you can see, that date has come and gone and although I set the date with the best intentions, I just haven't been able to keep that promise..... I think I over extended myself just a little bit.

As you know I have been away in London for a few days. Since my return, the house has been so full of "busy", I  really just could not find the time to catch up with you, but today, I am pleased to say, I have finally found some time. The boys are happy because they have been fed and watered and are watching  the football......

and me...... I am  going to marzipan our Christmas Cake. There is no music to share with you, as Natasha is playing her guitar, which I am loving.  I love the peaceful atmosphere the sound of the guitar is creating in the kitchen.


So my new Christmas apron is on and I am quietly humming along to the guitar music.  I am now  ready to marzipan the Christmas Cake. 

INGREDIENTS

2 x 450g packs of ready made marzipan
2 tablespoons of apricot jam
3 tablespoons (approximately) of icing sugar.


Remove the Christmas Cake from the larder
and 
remove the tin foil
and parchment paper and discard both.
Place the Christmas Cake on to a flat surface.


Place 2 tablespoons of apricot jam
in a saucepan,
and
warm over a gentle heat.
Make sure you do not boil the jam.

Then,


using a small pastry brush,
brush the  top and sides of the Christmas cake
 with apricot jam.
(I found I had a little apricot jam left over,
but this is never a problem for me, as
I save it and enjoy it on hot, buttered toast,
oh yes, in case you are wondering, 
the bread fast has been broken..... 
but only during Christmas time, as we
will be returning to our bread fast after Christmas.)


Measure the top of the cake.

Sprinkle icing sugar onto a 
baking surface
and gently roll out the marzipan.


Cut a 9 inch round.
I find the easiest way to cut the round
is to use a 9 inch plate as it makes
the job so simple.


Using a rolling pin,
gently lift the marzipan
and


place it on top of the cake.
Press the marzipan into place.


Measure the circumference of the cake
and the depth of the cake.
Mine was 3 inches in depth and 
27 inches in circumference.

Using the second packet of marzipan,
roll out a strip long enough to 
go around the sides of the cake.

To create the straight lines I used the
edge of the rolling pin.


Place the strip of marzipan around
the cake and press it into place.
(The apricot jam works as an adhesive,
which allow the marzipan to stick to the cake.)
Join the top to the sides.



There are various utensils which you can use to create a flat surface, but I just use my rolling pin, very gently mind you, as you don't want the marzipan to become mis-shapen.  I then use a palette knife to make sure the sides are smooth.

Here is a little tip for you.  If you don't have any icing sugar, but you have a coffee grinder, preferably one which has never been used, then you are able to make icing sugar.  I keep one of my coffee grinders just for making icing sugar.

Place a couple of tablespoons of granulated or caster sugar into the grinder and whiz  two or three times. When you remove the lid, you will find you have icing sugar.  I use this method all the time, as I use icing sugar occasionally, but not enough to buy a large packet as the "use before date" would run out before I managed to use it all and as you know, I hate waste.

You can make your own marzipan,  by using ground almonds, caster sugar and eggs, but life is too busy at the moment, so I am happy to use ready made marzipan.

Oh, I must mention that I did have some marzipan left over, but that is not a problem, as I am going to make some chocolate coated, marzipan sweets...... yes I love the taste of almonds and as you already know, I love the taste of chocolate, so this is a perfect combination.

When the Christmas Cake is covered with marzipan, cover loosely with parchment paper and place the Christmas Cake into a Tupperware box. Return to a cool storage cupboard and allow the marzipan to dry for a couple of days,

then........ we will be ready for the icing.

As much as I enjoy Christmas, I know it is a very busy time for us all, so please, do remember to stop and make time for yourself.

Take care and I will catch up with you before Christmas Eve.









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