I love baking. I prefer the decorating to the actual baking but it is very hard to get to the decorating stage if you don’t crack the eggs in the bowl if you know what I mean.
At the beginning of November I made my Christmas cake. I am not loyal to one recipe. I sometimes substitute ingredients for different ones but this year I chose a Mary Berry recipe for the cake. It was really easy to follow and, when I got a request to make another cake, I gave you the amended quantities for different sizes and shapes of tin.
Since making the cakes however, I have been thinking and thinking about what to put on top. Last year we had a snowman and a snowdog to commemorate the TV show of the same name. I did consider Christmas mice to satisfy my 2-year-olds mouse love but settled on penguins. Why? Because I thought they would be easier to shape than mice!
So two weeks ago, I sat at my kitchen table after Boo had gone to bed and shaped four little balls of black sugar paste icing and a sausage shape (I wanted one on its tummy).
Then I made smaller white balls for their fronts and faces and flattened them down. I suppose you could use a rolling pin but I found my fingers worked just as good. I made little black triangles for wings and similar tiny sausage shapes for beaks and piped the eyes on with ready to use writing icing,
I put them all together and left them on a plate in my kitchen for a week to harden. I don’t plan to eat them. If you wanted to eat them, I’d put them in a box.
Then came the fun part.
After I had put the marzipan on the cake, I had a bit left over so I p it into a short, far sausage and stuck it to the marzipan with some of the left over jam.
This formed a hill for one of my little penguins to slide down.
When the icing went on ( I did it as soon as marzipan went on due to lack of time and it is fine) I just smoothed it down round the marzipan sausage as you would round the edges.
Then I mixed some blue food colouring with water and a bit of edible glitter and painted it in a circle around the hill and placed my lovely little penguins on it to skate.
It’s not perfect. I’m not a professional but I am a trier and that is what Christmas is about isn’t it?
My other cake was for my interior designer friend and I just thought he was more of a classy Christmas cake kind of person than me so for his cake I just opted for plain icing, a bit of ribbon and three edible roses.
Either way, they all taste the same. I don’t recommend driving after one of my creations though. They have been fed with a number of alcoholic beverages.