- 8oz icing sugar
- 8oz caster sugar
- 1lb ground almonds
- Vanilla essence
- 2 tsps lemon juice
- Whisked egg to mix (around 3)
Stage two of making a traditional Christmas Cake is our house, is the Almond Icing or the Marzipan as some people like to call it. Like or loathe it, it’s an essential part of the Cake. You can buy it ready made in the shops but it doesn’t taste the same and it’s actually really easy to make. Most supermarkets do a good deal on ground almonds at this time of year so it doesn’t have to cost too much to make your own. This recipe is taken from the Good Houskeeping’s Cookery Compendium (1952) which is a cookery book which has been handed down through two generations.
Most kids love eating almond icing so they will really enjoy getting involved with making this. They can weigh everything, do all of the mixing and also make a bit of a mess when rolling out the paste. The mess doesn’t last long as it’s quickly nibbled up by little fingers!
- Bake your Christmas Cake and leave for a few weeks (where possible) to mature.
- Sieve both sugars and mix in the ground almonds.
- Add in a few drops of vanilla essence, lemon juice and enough beaten egg to bind it all together. We needed to use about three eggs.
- Turn the paste onto a heavily (icing) sugared board and knead until smooth.
- While the kids are kneading, warm up a few tablespoons of apricot jam and smear over the fruit cake. This acts like a glue for the marzipan.
- Cut into three sections. Roll out the first section into a circle (enough to cover the cake). To lift onto the top of the cake, wrap it around the rolling pin which makes it easier to lift.
- Roll both other sections into long strips to wrap around each half of the cake. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect as you can fill in any missing bits with leftover bits of marzipan.
- Using a clean, smooth sided jam jar, roll the jar around the edge of the cake to smooth the surface.
- Cover and leave to dry out for a few days before applying the Royal Icing.