Archive for the ‘Icing’ Category

Lemon Simnel Cupcakes

March 30, 2016

Lemon Simnel Cupcakes 2Lemon Simnel Cupcakes 1

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Christmas Biscuits

September 30, 2013

Christmas Biscuits

Classic Christmas Cake (Mary Berry)

January 21, 2013

For the cake
raisins 175g
glacé cherries 350g, halved, rinsed, thoroughly dried and quartered
currants 500g
sultanas 350g
brandy 150ml, plus extra for feeding
zest of 2 oranges finely grated
butter 250g, softened
light muscovado sugar 250g
eggs 4
black treacle 1 tbsp
blanched almonds 75g, chopped
self-raising flour 75g
plain flour 175g
mixed ground spice 1½ tsp

To finish and decorate
apricot jam 3 tbsp, sieved and warmed
icing sugar to dust
almond paste 675g
royal icing 1 recipe quantity, below

For the royal icing to cover a 23cm cake
egg whites 3
icing sugar 675g, sifted
lemon juice 3 tsp
glycerine 1½ tsp

Put all the dried fruit in a container, pour over the brandy and stir in the orange zest. Cover with a lid and leave to soak for three days, stirring daily.

Grease and line a 23cm deep round tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1.

Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds into a very large bowl and beat well. Add the flours and ground spice and mix thoroughly until blended. Stir in the soaked fruit. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.

Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for about 4-4½ hours or until the cake feels firm to the touch and is a rich golden brown. Check after 2 hours, and if the cake is a perfect colour, cover with foil. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.

When cool, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little extra brandy. Wrap the completely cold cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper and again in foil and store in a cool place for up to 3 months, feeding at intervals with more brandy. (Don’t remove the lining paper when storing as this helps to keep the cake moist.)

To decorate: stand the cake upside down, flat side uppermost, on a cake board which is 5cm larger than the size of the cake. Brush the sides and the top of the cake with the warm apricot jam.

Liberally dust a work surface with icing sugar then roll out the almond paste to about 5cm (2in) larger than the surface of the cake. Keep moving the almond paste as you roll, checking that it is not sticking to the work surface. Dust the work surface with more icing sugar as necessary.

Carefully lift the almond paste over the cake using a rolling pin. Gently level and smooth the top of the paste with the rolling pin, then ease the almond paste down the sides of the cake, smoothing it at the same time. If you are careful, you should be able to cover the cake with no excess paste to trim but, if necessary, neatly trim excess from the base of the cake with a small sharp knife. Cover the cake loosely with baking parchment and leave for a few days to dry out before icing.

To make the royal icing: whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they become frothy. Mix in the sifted icing sugar a tablespoonful at a time. You can do this with a hand-held electric whisk but keep the speed low.

Stir in the lemon juice and glycerine and beat the icing until it is very stiff and white and stands up in peaks.

Cover the surface of the icing tightly with clingfilm and keep in a cool place until needed.

To ice the cake: spread the royal icing evenly over the top and sides of the cake with a palette knife. For a snow-peak effect, use a smaller palette knife to rough up the icing.

Leave the cake loosely covered overnight for the icing to harden a little, then wrap or store in an airtight container in a cool place until needed.

Tips
Instead of covering with almond paste and royal icing, you could simply brush sieved, warmed apricot jam over the top of the cake, and then arrange glacé fruits and nuts over the jam. Brush again with jam.

Preparing ahead
Prepare the fruit and soak in sherry three days ahead. Make the cake and wrap or store in an airtight container. Store in a cool place for up to three months. You could also freeze the cake before decorating, for up to three months; defrost at room temperature.

Jubilee Crown Cake (Sue Costelloe)

September 26, 2012