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Icing and Decorating Christmas Cakes

I love Christmas! This time of year, when all the lights start popping up all over the place, Christmassy smells wafting from my kitchen, jars of mincemeat all lined up in my kitchen cupboards along with an array of chutneys. 

But the most exciting thing is the star attraction, icing the cake. I'm really not the most creative person so it is quite a simple look. I know lots of you will be far more creative. So here is just a starting point.

Start by gently heating some apricot jam. Brush the cake all over with the jam. Roll out your marzipan, I used 1 pkt (about half a killo) but I'm not a big lover of it and so prefer it on the thin side.

Leave it to dry overnight. The next day brush over the marzipan with a little water. I use a ready rolled packet of fondant, lay the fondant over the cake. (See picture)

Gently pull the icing out and then ease into place (see picture below). Once all the cake is covered and the icing is in place you can use either smoothers or a piece of folded kitchen roll to smooth out any lumps and bumps trimming off the excess.

To make the igloo roll out some flower or gum paste  on a brick texture mat, cut out a circle and line either in a half circle mould or a teacup with it, and leave to set, cut a small oblong of icing to make the opening of the igloo and place over a small rolling pin. To make the bear watch the mini video I've added. To bring the cake together, roll some some balls out of fondant 'glue' onto the top of the cake using a little water with a craft paint brush, roll out a blue circle, brush the underside with a sparse brushing of water, then gently roll into place with a plastic small rolling pin, to give a less uniformed pond, glue the igloo into place with water and then the polar bear. Once everything is dry and firm in place tie with a pretty ribbon and gently brush all over with lustre dust.