Pre-Christmas is my absolutely favourite time of year. I love the Christmas decorations in the shops, Christmas carols playing in the stores, Christmas shopping, wrapping paper and bright bows and most of all, I love Christmas baking. Every year I make Christmas cakes and the number I make has grown over the last few years. This year I have made eleven. Some of these will be gifts and some will be sold and the proceeds will go to my charities.
The first Christmas cake that I have decorated this year has a Father Christmas theme. I decided to have a bit of fun and make it a South African Father Christmas and feature him on the beach with a surfboard.
I made the first batch of Christmas cakes at the beginning of October, using my mom’s very old recipe (you can find the video of me making my Christmas cakes on the baking videos and tutorials menu of this blog). I spend the following 4 weeks carefully “feeding” the cakes with 5ml of brandy once a week. Last week I covered each of the four cakes with a layer of marzipan. Firstly, I covered the cakes with a thin layer of melted apricot jam (I heat the jam in the microwave oven). I then rolled out the marzipan and cut it to fit the top and sides of each cake. The apricot jam helped the marzipan to adhere to the cakes. I left the marzipan covered cakes for a whole week to dry. I covered the cakes in tin foil while the marzipan was drying to protect them.
Today, I covered the first cake with a layer of white fondant. I rolled out the fondant fairly thickly and attached it to the marzipan using a little water brushed onto the marzipan with a pastry brush. My first cake was then iced and ready for decoration.
I had previously made a cute Father Christmas out of fondant. I made him wearing a stripy red and white swimming costume. I also made a surfboard out of fondant. I rolled out white fondant fairly thickly and cut out two surfboard shapes. The one shape I painted with edible red glitter crystals and the other I left white. I glued the two shapes together using edible glue and left the surfboard to dry.
I made beach sand using crushed Marie biscuits and little multi coloured shells using a mould and white and pale orange fondant.
I made a batch of royal icing (the recipe for royal icing appears in Book 1: Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream berries story and cookbook and the video can be found on the Sir Chocolate’s World menu of this blog) and used this to attach the sand, shells, Father Christmas and surfboard to the cake.
The final product looked this this: