These are the basics of icing a fruit cake:
|a 20" polyethylene rolling pin - which is ideal for rolling-out icing|
- 750g of marzipan is the ideal amount to ice the standard 23cm diameter cake. (And 750g of regal ice afterwards.)
- Roll-out your marzipan. Then heat up your apricot conserve. Paint your cake all over - including the sides with the warm apricot conserve. Drape the marzipan over your rolling pin, and thus use it to drape the marzipan over the cake. Pat down and cut off excess with a sharp knife. Cut the odd dart in the sides for a nice flush finish - no need to be too pedantic about appearances on this layer as it wont show.
- Ideally now leave the cake for a day to dry-out.
- Roll the regal ice out. Take a small bowl of water and with your fingers wet the marzipan all over. Then drape the regal ice over the cake and pat down. As before cut-off excess with a sharp knife, and cut a few neat darts in the sides for a nice flush finish - this time smooth and bond the icing together with your fingers - do this unfussily - there is nothing worse than a cake that looks like it has been played with.
|apricot glaze has no fruit bits in it|
and is ideal for brushing onto cakes
- I have discovered a great product in Sainsburys - smooth apricot glaze (designed specifically for icing cakes) which as it contains no bits of fruit does not require you to sieve them out before you brush it onto the cake.
- If your regal ice is a bit stiff just wrap it in a plastic bag and microwave it for 20 seconds.
- I own a proper patisserie rolling-pin. It is made of polyethylene and is very long. This is ideally suited for icing cakes as it wont dry out the icing like a wooden pin will. This is not at all essential for a standard-sized cake. However if you are making a very large cake especially if it is for a wedding then you should invest in one (approx. £12 online).
- If you intend to decorate the regal ice either by piping, or by glueing on shapes (e.g. cut-out butterflies or sugar paste flowers), then you should apply them immediately after you apply the final layer of regal ice. If you leave too much time in-between, the icing will dry-out and it will be much harder to apply the decoration.