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  • FIRST POST
    spaghetti monster
    icing/marzipan-ing my first christmas cake
    • #1
    • 9th Dec 08, 7:32 AM
    icing/marzipan-ing my first christmas cake 9th Dec 08 at 7:32 AM
    Hi all!

    My first christmas cake is busy maturing and soaking up all the booze I've been feeding it...... and I'm now starting to think about the decorating.

    I'm in Holland, where it's sometimes a bit of a project to find baking ingredients. They are very into marzipan - I see a lot of marzipan figures/fun shapes etc but so far no packets of plain marzipan.
    I'm going to go on an ingredient-finding mission but was wondering how easy it is to make your own marzipan???? That would stand up to being rolled out and moulded on the cake???

    Then there's the icing. My favourite is the kind that stays a bit soft and doesn't taste like the plain icing sugar+water stuff. Is that royal icing??? Can this also be made at home? (trying to work out what this is called in Dutch might also be more of a challenge!)

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 9th Dec 08, 7:36 AM
    • 3,431 Posts
    • 20,884 Thanks
    purpleivy
    • #2
    • 9th Dec 08, 7:36 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Dec 08, 7:36 AM
    There are some bars of marzipan in our Lidl, sort of log shapes with the sweets and Christmas stuff. Some have chocolate on them and some don't,

    I have a friend who always makes her own marzipan. I suspect it isn't as easy to roll, but it's covered by icing any way.

    Sounds like you might need to make Royal icing, but put a little glycerine in to keep it a bit softer. My mum did this after she carved herself up one christmas with hard royal icing!
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
  • spaghetti monster
    • #3
    • 9th Dec 08, 7:45 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Dec 08, 7:45 AM
    Thanks Purpleivy!

    We have a Lidl here, so I'll check that out and also was thinking of asking in a bakery or something. Especially glycerine might take some seeking out - but definitely want the icing soft!
  • chrisbethany
    • #4
    • 9th Dec 08, 8:02 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Dec 08, 8:02 AM
    Hi Alex

    Don't know if you know of these - forgive me if I'm telling you something you already know -

    Remember to turn the cake upside down, so you have a nice flat surface. If the bottom (was the top) is bumpy just trim to make flatter. If the outside of the cake doesn't meet the board, fill with a 'sausage' of marzipan. Fill any holes made by dried fruit falling out with tiny bits of marzipan first. I use apricot jam spread over the cake to make marzipan and then icing stick. To measure the right size of marzipan/icing I measure the top of the cake and down the sides with a piece of thread so you know you've rolled out enough. If a round cake, flatten m/i on the top and then down the sides. With a square cake, flatten the m/i on the top, then down the corners and you can then 'tease' the covering down the flat sides. Press in along the bottom edge with a palette knife, pushing it right into the cake, and then fold back to give a sharp line and trim off. Hope this makes sense, and good luck!

    Chris
  • spaghetti monster
    • #5
    • 9th Dec 08, 8:18 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Dec 08, 8:18 AM
    Thankyou very much Chris - all these details are really good to know (especially as we've now been invited to a christmas dinner on the 24th where everyone is looking forward to the aforementioned cake, so the pressure is on!)

    I was surfing this morning and found this:
    http://www.cookuk.co.uk/cake/recipe_christmas-cake_marzipan.htm

    With the pictures and everything, quite good for a beginner I think
    • snipzychick
    • By snipzychick 9th Dec 08, 9:07 AM
    • 2,053 Posts
    • 3,408 Thanks
    snipzychick
    • #6
    • 9th Dec 08, 9:07 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Dec 08, 9:07 AM
    Thankyou very much Chris - all these details are really good to know (especially as we've now been invited to a christmas dinner on the 24th where everyone is looking forward to the aforementioned cake, so the pressure is on!)

    I was surfing this morning and found this:
    http://www.cookuk.co.uk/cake/recipe_christmas-cake_marzipan.htm

    With the pictures and everything, quite good for a beginner I think
    Originally posted by alex w
    Thanks very much for this, I have 2 cakes to marzipan and ice, and i too am a beginner, so this will be really handy
    Murphy's No More Pies Club member # 140 - lost 40 lbs

    03/10 07/11 03/12

    • JulieM
    • By JulieM 9th Dec 08, 1:17 PM
    • 686 Posts
    • 813 Thanks
    JulieM
    • #7
    • 9th Dec 08, 1:17 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Dec 08, 1:17 PM
    A light dusting of icing sugar on the worktop and rolling pin makes it easier to roll out the marzipan.
  • spaghetti monster
    • #8
    • 9th Dec 08, 1:59 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Dec 08, 1:59 PM
    Has anyone ever made their own marzipan?
    • JulieM
    • By JulieM 10th Dec 08, 6:10 PM
    • 686 Posts
    • 813 Thanks
    JulieM
    • #9
    • 10th Dec 08, 6:10 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Dec 08, 6:10 PM
    My mother in law used to make her own, though I didn't think it tasted any better than bought marzipan. It's mainly ground almonds and sugar, delia smith has a recipe.
  • Bunny200
    Just did my square cake using the website above, never done it before and without being corny it was a piece of cake!! Now I've got some marzipan left over which I've put into a sealed bag but does anyone know long it will keep for? I suppose it will dry out eventually. My OH likes dates stuffed with marzipan and I've got the dates but I wasn't going to do them til xmas week, do you think this lump will last til then? Can I add water to it to stop it drying out? Thanks
  • Bunny200
    P.S. What should I do with the cake now? Should it be covered with foil or left open? I can put a big tuperware box over it to keep the dust off? Whats the best?
    • horsechestnut
    • By horsechestnut 11th Dec 08, 11:56 AM
    • 1,422 Posts
    • 2,792 Thanks
    horsechestnut
    Marzipan Recipe
    1 pound Ground Almonds
    1 Pound Icing Sugar
    2 Medium Eggs
    A few drops of Almond Essence (If you like )

    Sieve the Icing Sugar and add the Almonds, then mix together with the eggs until it makes a suitable paste.
    Store well wrapped in cling film.
    Only ever use Icing sugar to roll out.
    Don't let Wheat Flour near it or it will go mouldy!!
    This will cover the top and sides of an 8 inch cake .

    This will make a yellow coloured paste, if you prefer the pale one, then just use Egg Whites (you will need 4 whites).
    However I buy mine from Sainsbury or Lidl.
    • horsechestnut
    • By horsechestnut 11th Dec 08, 11:59 AM
    • 1,422 Posts
    • 2,792 Thanks
    horsechestnut
    If it is well wrapped, then Marzipan will keep for a good six months. Don't add water to it. A very little Glycerine will soften it. But any really hard corners can just be eaten!!!
  • chrisbethany
    Fruit cakes and foil
    P.S. What should I do with the cake now? Should it be covered with foil or left open? I can put a big tuperware box over it to keep the dust off? Whats the best?
    Originally posted by Bunny200
    Hi - I was taught that fruit can react against tin foil, and so cakes should be wrapped in greaseproof or baking parchment first. I think that tupperware might make the cake sweat, too, so I would then put it in a cardboard box or a tin.

    Chris
  • chrisbethany
    Fruit cakes and foil
    P.S. What should I do with the cake now? Should it be covered with foil or left open? I can put a big tuperware box over it to keep the dust off? Whats the best?
    Originally posted by Bunny200
    Hi - I was taught that fruit can react against tin foil, and so cakes should be wrapped in greaseproof or baking parchment first. I think that tupperware might make the cake sweat, too, so I would then put it in a cardboard box or a tin.

    Chris Sorry - posted twice in enthusiasm!!
  • pippa93
    And remember a ribbon is useful if there's any problems with chips in the royal icing layer!

    Also I prefer doing my marzipan/icing layers as big circles or squares (I suppose that's how I was shown to do it) it creates a nice clean edge but can bit a bit tricky sometimes so I always roll my icing/marzipan quite a bit larger than the actual cake, and if I mess it up, well that's where the ribbon and the decorations come in!
    • Bitsy Beans
    • By Bitsy Beans 12th Dec 08, 7:33 PM
    • 9,433 Posts
    • 65,784 Thanks
    Bitsy Beans
    Just a tip - boil the apriocot jam and strain it - leaves you with a smoother jam which is just right for spreading on the cake!

    Use a piece of string to measure up the side, over the top and down the other side of the cake. Mark the string and use this as a guide for the size of marzipan/icing that you roll out. When it's rolled out it's not easy to offer it up to the cake to measure it.
    As you roll keep turning the circle of marzipan/icing to help prevent it sticking (only do this until it's too large to move without breaking). When I iced the Xmas cake (it's not quite so crucial with the marzipan) I lift the icing with my roller onto my bear forearms (bit like they do with pizza dough) and then it's easier to lower into the cake. Take off any rings and watches/bracelets as these will mark the icing.
    Sorry if all of the above is teaching you all how to suck eggs but this is how my mum has shown me to ice the cakes. Just wanted to pass it on!
  • welsh worrier
    Marzipaned mine today with homemade marzipan 8oz ground almonds 8oz icing sugar and 1 egg white.
  • wallbash
    Was thinking of doing the marzipan next week. Sorry but will be the boring shop bought BUT will follow it with home-made Royal icing. With small peaks , saves trying to get a smooth surface.

    I only make one cake a year but its a' biggun '
  • spaghetti monster
    Hi all!
    Glad to hear the cake making is going well!
    Was just away with work for a bit - but was staying with a friend and we managed to find some glycerine in a posh baking shop. I also then asked at a nearby bakery for marzipan - they looked a bit confused by then sold me some!

    Over here (Holland) I only ever see quite small packets of icing sugar (about 200g I think). As I'm planning to try my hand at some marzipan decorations I might make a small amount if I run out.
    My friend also lent me some food colourings for this.
    When I was younger my mum used to make little marzipan scenarios (holly, tree etc).

    So how is everyone going to decorate it???
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