Thursday, 22 December 2011

"I Can't Believe You Made That!" Christmas Cake; Time to Decorate!

When I posted the first step to baking my "I Can't Believe You Made That!" Christmas Cake, I explained the reason behind the funny name; that it looks so professional and tastes so delicious that all my friends and family exclaim, "I can't believe you made that!"...and the final step, decorating the cake, will show you why.

Now you've covered the cake in marzipan and icing, you'll have a lovely, smooth base to get started with.  Sometimes there's the worry that you've gone to all that effort, lovingly making, baking and covering, and the decorating will let you down, but I promise this design is super easy and your cake will look amazing and wow your guests on Christmas Day. 

This year I chose a girly Christmas design for my cake as I'll be sharing it with my girlfriends for a special Christmas Eve Afternoon Tea.  All you need is some fondant icing, food colouring, a few cookie cutters and some little extras like mini sugar stars and edible pink balls.  I won't lie, it may take a good few hours, but ultimately it is just a case of cutting out the right shapes and arranging them in the right really is that easy!  Ultimately, the cake is yours, so decorate however you like, check out my top tips below for some extra special ideas.

"I Can't Believe You Made That!" Christmas Cake; Time to Decorate

Christmas Tree Cake

400g fondant icing
Green, yellow, pink and blue food colouring
Mini sugar stars
Edible pink balls
Boiled water, cooled

Divide the fondant icing into 4 100g pieces and colour each one using the different food colourings.  Add a drop at a time, kneading as you go, until the colour is pale and even.  Roll out each piece, you will need the icing quite thin, but sturdy enough to handle without breaking.

Take the cooled water and a pastry brush.  The water will act as your "glue" for decorating, but be careful not to over-wet the brush, you only need a very little to moisten rather than wet the icing.

Cut out a Christmas Tree shape from the green icing and stick this onto the centre of the cake.  Use the star nozzle of an piping bag to cut out 8 stars in the pink icing and stick these to the end of each branch of the tree.  Cut a small star shape from the yellow icing and stick this to the top of the tree, then carefully press some sugar stars into the tree to decorate, a cocktail stick will help you gently push them in place.

Cut out an array of different sized squares and rectangles from the coloured icings and use a knife to cut out thin strips of the icing too, these can be laid across the parcels and gently pushed down to create "ribbons".  Carefully stick the parcels all around the edge of the cake, overlapping as you go, until they reach all the way around.  On some of the parcels use some sugar stars and pink balls to decorate them, using the cocktail stick to carefully push them in place.

Finally, carefully press the pink balls into the rest of the cake to resemble snowfall, again the cocktail stick will help.  Leave the cake for about 30 minutes for the design to set and you're done!

Belle's Top Tip
If you would prefer the same cake, but a little less girly, you can replace the pink icing with red and use deeper shades of the other colours by simply adding a little more food colouring.

If you're short on time just grab some white fondant icing and roll 1 large ball and a slightly smaller one to make a snowman in the centre of the cake.  Give him some eyes and a beaming smile using black icing and a small piece of ribbon as a scarf.  Roll up lots of small balls of the icing to dot around as snowballs and tie a big festive ribbon around the edge of the cake, finishing with a big bow.

You can use red or green icing to pipe a festive greeting on the cake, but only try if you're confident piping letters.  I have spoilt many a cake with wonky handwriting and spelling mistakes!