Sunday, 18 December 2011

Icing a round Christmas cake with sugarpaste

So I've told you all about how to bake the cake, to marzipan the cake and true to my word, here I am to tell you all how I cover the cake in sugarpaste. 

For an 8 inch round cake, you will need 950g of sugarpaste. 

Knead the sugarpaste until it is pliable. You might need a little icing sugar on the worksurface to stop it sticking. 

When the sugarpaste is soft, you can start rolling it out into a large circle. After each roll, pick the icing up and roll it a quarter turn to stop it sticking to the counter. 

When the icing is rolled out enough so that it will cover the cake. Brush the marzipanned cake with vodka or any other clear spirit. Unfortunately, the alcohol will evaporate off but if you have been studiously feeding the cake brandy this will be ok. 

To get the icing onto the cake now, either lift it on while it's draped over the rolling pin or lift it in your hands. Be gentle. 

From here on in, it's operation smoothing.

Use one hand to lift the icing from the bottom and the other shaped like a cup to start smoothing the icing down from the top. 

Once the icing is all the smooth all the way down the sides. Start buffing with a smoother if you have one or with your hands. I use a little bit of icing sugar awell as it acts a little bit like sandpaper. 

When the icing is smooth and shiny, run a sharp knife around the bottom to take away the excess icing. 

Then using the smoother tuck in the ragged edges. These will be covered with a ribbon later so don't worry if you don't have it perfect. 

Have your pre-covered board ready. I always put a ribbon around the board to pretty it up a little too. Dab on a bit of royal icing so the cake won't run away.

Drop your cake onto your board. Yes, it weighs a ton but your arms are all lovely and strong now from all that rolling of marzipan and icing. If you have a sugar pearl spray, this is the time to use it. It gives a lovely sheen to the sugarpaste and it smells lovely. 

Next stop is to hide the not so nice bits at the end of the cake. Secure a ribbon around the base of the cake with a dab of royal icing. 

Okay, so at this stage you could be all done or you could decorate with a few glitter snowflakes or whatever your heart desires. 

The End! Merry Christmas! 

Once again thanks to Chub for taking pictures. He is useful sometimes.
Did you notice my freakishly long fingers? When we were engagement ring shopping, everyone seemed to notice them. Especially the French man in the jewellers on Johnson Place 'oh but with your very, very, very, very long pianist fingers you could wear anything' talk about giving me a complex. I am not a pianist. I played the recorder when I was in fifth class and that's about it. Sorry Frenchman.