It’s ready! More than three months in the making; at least half a bottle of rum; marzipan; royal icing – we are ready for Christmas. The cake was so soporific last weekend that I hesitated adding that final quarter cup of rum. It had nowhere to go – the poor cake simply could not soak up any more. So I turned it over and sloshed it on. Earlier this week, I made marzipan from scratch using ground almonds. If I’d known how easy it was, I’d have made it before, instead of buying it in tiny cans and mushing it all together to roll it out. So now I know. The marzipan layer dried for a few days and I iced the cake today. I’ve been making this cake from the same recipe for more than 40 years, except for one monumental fail when i experimented with another recipe from a famous chef who will remain nameless. In all these years, I’ve never thought of adding vanilla essence to the icing, which is egg whites and icing or confectioner’s sugar with a squeeze of lemon juice. So, I added some vanilla. Now I know why recipes for royal icing don’t include vanilla. Vanilla is dark brown. Royal icing is snowy white. Oops! It looks more like buttercream than fresh white snow. Never mind, it will taste fine and no one will know. Now I understand why recipes don’t include vanilla. The images below show you the cake when it came out of the oven in September; the marzipan layer – a bit patchy; and the royal icing, which looks pretty good in the photo. It’s rather bare because I lost my cake decorations during one international move years ago and every year I forget to buy a new set.
Tomorrow, we will have the grand cutting of the cake. it’s our Christmas Eve tradition. We will toast each and every one of you as we drink/eat the first bite. Cedric and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a blessed, happy, healthy and joyous 2018.