Christmas Wreath

The Christmas Wreath Recipe - Use a rich fruit cake recipe and you can do your baking and decorating up to  2 months before Christmas and rest assured that your cake will taste even better than the day it came out of the oven.

Cake and dccoration:
23cm (9in) round fruit cake
400g (13oz) marzipan (almond icing)
500g (1lb/4cups) icing (confectioners) sugar
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
25cm (10m) round cake board
Small quantity of royal icing
200g (6 1/2oz) sugarpaste (rolled fondant)
Green and red load colouring
Decorative ribbon

Electric hand mixer
Palette knife
Steel ruler
Leaf shaped cutters

1.Marzipan (almond ice) the cake and leave to dry overnight.

2. Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl, making sure there are no lumps. Make a well in the centre and add the egg whites, stirring from the centre outwards until completely mixed in. The Mixture will be fairly stiff. Beat with an electric hand mixer until you obtain in fluffy consistency the icing should be spreadable but not runny.

3. Secure the cake to the cake board with a little royal icing. Spoon about a third of the icing on top and spread out the edge of the cake with a palette knife.

4. Use a steel ruler to smooth the surface of the cake. Ice the side of the cake. If possible, use a turntable to ease the icing process. Otherwise, place the cake board on top of the upturned cake tin that you have just used, to give you a little more height and make turning the cake easier.

5. When you have as smooth a surface as possible, leave the cake to dry. (To create a snow scene, use the end of the palette knife to press down and lift at intervals all over the icing to make peaks.) Make sure to keep a little icing. Covered with clingfilm (plastic wrap).

4. Roll out the sugarpaste (rolled fondant) on a clean work surface that has been clusted with icing sugar and cut out leaf shapes with the cutters. Leave to dry thoroughly, either flat or over a rolling pin to make them curve slightly. Then paint them different shades of green. Roll a few holly berries and paint them red when dry.

5. Decorate the cake with a wreath of leaves, attaching each one with a little icing, and add a few berries. Tie with the decorative ribbon. Dust lightly with icing sugar to serve.

Ahead of time:
The decorated cake can be stored for 2 months in an airtight container in a cool place.

Christmas Wreath
Holiday Recipes
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