You may not be a cake-making queen, but you can bake a simple cake-mix cake and dress it up in marzipan to look royally beautiful. Marzipan, or sweetened almond paste, is available at local supermarkets.You'll need about a pound of it to cover an 8-inch-square cake.To prepare it for rolling and cutting, knead it well.
1 pound sweetened almond paste
1 bottle of food coloring in the color of your choice
1 jar apricot jam
One 8-inch-square cake
To Create Marbled Marzipan
1. You will need a bottle of food coloring in the color of your choice. Start by rolling out the marzipan onto a surface sprinkled with confectioners' sugar and working it into a thick sausage shape.
2. Use a toothpick to apply the food coloring in thin stripes along the marzipan roll. Fold the marzipan over and over again into a thick sausage shape. Keep rolling and folding until it is streaked with color, adding dots of additional food coloring if necessary
3. Roll out the marzipan and apply it to the cake as described below.
To Cover The Cake
1. Apricot jam is used to help keep the marzipan in place, and it doesn't affect the flavor of the cake. Heat up a jar of jam and strain it through a sieve. Brush the syrup on the surface of the cake.
2. Sprinkle a little confectioners' sugar on a flat work surface. Roll out the marzipan with the rolling pin into a thin sheet large enough to drape over the cake. Use the rolling pin to help support the rolled-out marzipan so that it doesn't crack while you lift it and place it over the cake.
3. Use your hands to press the paste onto the surface of the cake, starting at the top and smoothing down the sides. Remove excess marzipan from the corners of the cake and around the base with a sharp knife.
To Make Neat Square Corners
1. Alternatively, you can cover the sides and top of the cake with separate pieces of marzipan. Brush melted, strained jam on top of the cake and roll out a thin sheet of marzipan that it is about 1 inch larger all around than the top of the cake. Turn the cake upside down and center it over the marzipan, then trim the marzipan around the line of cake. You can also cut a decorative edge in the marzipan, if you'd like.
2. Spread jam around sides of cake and cut strips of marzipan to fit. Press the strips onto the cake and use your fingers to smooth over the joints.
How to Throw Spook-Tacular Soirees and Frighteningly Festive Entertainments
by Lori Hellander
Publisher: Stuart, Tabori and Chang
Paperback: 80 pages, $14.95 ($22.50 Canada)
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created October 2004 and modified September 2007
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