Almond Icing (Marzipan)
Homemade almond icing is superior to the ready-made, so I’ve included it here if you have time to make it. A one-egg mix makes 375g, so you will probably have too much, in which case use the surplus to stuff dates or make some Stollen - see recipe below
|90g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting|
|90g golden caster sugar|
|1 large egg, lightly beaten|
|a few drops pure almond extract|
|1 teaspoon brandy|
|175g ground almonds|
|a little icing sugar (to knead and roll)|
|Need help with conversions?|
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes
Begin by sifting the icing sugar and caster sugar into a large bowl, then stir in the egg. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick and fluffy.
Then remove the bowl from the heat and sit the base in about 5cm of cold water. Whisk in the almond extract and brandy and continue to whisk until the mixture is cool.
At this point stir in the ground almonds and knead to form a firm paste on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar.
Then roll out the amount needed on a clean surface dusted with icing sugar, and keep giving it quarter turns (to keep it round) between each roll.
Once it is rolled to the right size, cover the top of the cake.
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Those who find a traditional fruit cake too heavy might enjoy Stollen which, although it still contains dried fruit, it altogether lighter. And, of course, the sweet-toothed will love the seam of marzipan running through the middle!
Originally from the Caribbean, it does involve quite a lot of booze and a week’s pre-soaking...
This is my original Christmas cake from the first book – a combination of my grandmother’s, my mother’s and a few tweaks from me
What is Simnel cake? A rich fruit cake which includes lumps of marzipan stirred into the mixture that melts and combines with all the other flavours during cooking.
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