Icing the Christmas Cake
So... you made the cake, you've kept it cool and 'fed' it regularly, and now you've unwrapped it and realised - you have to ice it!
First things first
If this is where your artistic flair deserts you, don't worry. Delia has some very easy, very simple solutions for you. First stop is Amond Icing otherwise known as marzipan, and if you've never made it yourself you really are missing out, it's on a whole new level compared to shop bought, and here is where you begin. Once you have brought the mixture together, simpy roll out to the right size of your cake and cover the top. Simple!
Choose your icing
Then - we move on to the actual icing part.
You can choose between Fondant Icing and Royal Icing; fondant is softer and Royal is a little more robust, and often a favourite for those who like to simply cover the whole cake and create a 'Christmas Snow Scene' or in Delias' words "I confess this has often been for me a last-minute affair late on Christmas Eve. Very often there's the odd robin or Father Christmas handed down through generations to decorate with, but failing that, a sprig of holly in the centre of the cake will give a festive touch"
Meanwhile, Fondant Icing is rolled like marzipan, and then placed on the top of the cake. The icing can be made ahead and kept tightly wrapped in the fridge for 3 days, though once on the cake it doesn't need to be refrigerated. You could then cut out an angel shape, and add some silver balls to the top of the cake for a subtle and simple decoration. You can watch How To Decorate a Christmas Cake here
Feel like getting a bit fancy?
Take things a litle bit further with two decorations from her original Christmas book. Ribboned Parcel and Holly Leaf Decorations are both made with fondant icing, so it is easier to get a super-smooth surface. Once you have done that you can keep it simple by adding some coloured ribbon cut to size and fixed, then add a bow to make it look like a parcel!
Or for something slightly more adventurous, cut out holly leaf shapes and decorate the top and sides, then add silver balls.
If the thoughts of getting involved with icing is just too much, don't worry, Delia has some other choices for you to try. If you find icing is too sweet, Delia has a fabulous, easy Glazed Nut topping, which is warmed apricot jam brushed over nuts to make them glisten, and you can see what it looks like on Last-minute Christmas Mincemeat Cake.
Or, how about a Golden Apricot Pecan Topping used on the recipe for Light Christmas Cake. Glace Fruit Topping is another simple but effective topping, after arranging dried fruits on the top of your cake, the warm jam is whisked with brandy and brushed over the top for a glossy finish. Finally the clue is in the name of this topping Simple Decoration for a Christmas Cake which Delia says "There really couldn't be an easier or quicker way to top a cake"