It’s Christmas Eve and ‘all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse’. Ha I wish although I have to say an impromtu soft play session, has certainly sent my little piggies for a nice long nap as I write this……shhhh lets not jinx it!
This post has meant to reach you much earlier. Yet craft fairs, Christmas shenanigans and the normal coughs and colds this time of year, seem to have gotten in my way. To be honest Christmas in general seems to have snuck up on me this year. It felt so far away and then suddenly it’s Christmas Eve. Thankfully I managed in this last week to get my arse in gear and complete all of my shopping by Thursday. All of the presents have been wrapped too. I wish I could take the credit but I roped in my little brother to assist me (and by assist, I actually mean do it all).
The one thing I did manage to do and I only just made it was my Christmas Cake. This has sat maturing and enjoying the occasional feed of Brandy for the past four weeks. Thursday I had decided was my day to ice the cake. Come hell or high-water it would be finished. I brought the materials, that in my mind was what I thought I needed for the image I had envisioned.
So there I was. The little pigs were in bed and seemed to be staying there. I’d put the hubby on watch duty (yes it does seem like ‘lights out’ most nights) and began. I gathered all of my bits in once place, ready for operation decorate cake. Only to realise I didn’t have apricot jam. I did however have some marmalade which had to do.
Waitrose Bittersweet Seville Orange Marmalade.
First thing first, I unwrapped my cake and placed it on to the cake board. Even if I do say so myself, it was looking pretty good considering it was mixed by two little piggies that were more concerned with wrestling over the mixing spoon.
Next to achieve a smooth finish was time to smooth in the cracks and crevices with marzipan. I know you can make your own but frankly I can’t be bothered with the faff at Christmas time. My cake soon began to resemble an odd sight as I stuffed marzipan any where that it would fit.
Dusting my worktop with icing sugar, I then rolled my marzipan out into a sheet. I had already heated my marmalade before hand. Next I now painted runny marmalade over my cake, making sure I didn’t pick up any orange bits. Before laying the marzipan sheet over the cake. I began tucking in my marzipan layer smoothing and adjusting as I went. This is when a turntable is invaluable when doing this. As you can see it wasn’t a perfect finish but it didn’t matter as I was about to smooth it out anyway.
Wiping down the worktop with hot soapy water (it’s always good to fill the sink up first when cake decorating), I could now progress to the next layer of white icing. Cleaning the worktop first, meant that no stray bits of marzipan could contaminate the white icing. Again I dusted the worktop with icing sugar and rolled out my icing into a sheet. Dabbing some water onto the cake, I carefully applied the sheet of icing.
Now began my finishing touches. It was now I realised that the image in my head wasn’t anything like the image I actually wanted to achieve from Pinterest. This meant I didn’t have what I needed. It was time to improvise with what I had. My mother-in-law had the brilliant idea of using some festive hundreds and thousands to make stars. I went with that idea. It was messy and actually a lot of fun.
Even better is when you get to eat it. You’ve got to love a bit of Nigella Lawson and her cake recipe does not disappoint. What’s your favourite recipe to use?
We are all ready for Christmas and I hope you all are too.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Wishing you well.
Stay At Home Piggy.
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