Almond Paste for Cake Icing
|Icing sugar||6 Ounce (175 Gram)|
|Castor sugar||6 Ounce (175 Gram)|
|Almonds||12 Ounce, ground|
|Almonds||12 Ounce, grounded (350 Gram)|
|Lemon juice||1 Teaspoon|
|Lemon||1⁄2 , juiced|
|Vanilla essence/Almond essence||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
1) This first stage in the decoration of a Christmas cake is very important, as a flat, even base must be provided for the final icing.
2) The cake is first brushed with apricot glaze, which holds down any loose cake crumbs and helps the almond paste stick to the cake.
3) Sieve the icing sugar into a large mixing basin, add the castor sugar and ground almonds.
4) Lightly mix the lemon juice, egg and flavoring.
5) Pour into the dry ingredients and, using a fork, mix to a fairly stiff paste.
6) Turn out on to a working surface, lightly dusted with castor sugar and knead lightly by hand to a smooth dough.
7) Avoid over-mixing, as the warmth of the hands can cause the oil to come out of the almonds, making the paste difficult to roll out.
8) If the paste is a little sticky, work in more sugar, or a little more lemon juice if too stiff.
9) Set the finished almond paste aside until ready to use.
10) Covering the cakes with almond paste The cake should be as level and as even in shape as possible.
11) Slight irregularities in shape can be made up with the almond paste, but any high dome in the centre of the cake should be-trimmed levelâ€”use a saw-edged knife and slice across.
12) Divide the almond paste into two portions, one-third for the top of the cake and two-thirds for the sides.
13) Dusting your working surface with more castor sugar, roll out the smallest portion of the almond paste to a circle the size of the top of the cake.
14) If preferred take a professional tip and reverse the cake using the flat base as the top.
15) Brush the 'top' of the cake with hot apricot glaze and turn over on to the circle of rolled out almond paste.
16) Press down firmly, and trim away the surplus paste from the sides.
17) Add these pieces to the remaining almond paste.
18) Using a piece of string, measure the circumference of the cake and cut to the exact lengthâ€”keep this for measuring.
19) Roll out the remaining almond paste to a length long enough to fit the sides.
19) This is most easily done if you first shape the almond paste with your hands into a long rope the circumference of the cakeâ€”use string for measuring.
20) Then flatten this 'rope' with your rolling pin to the depth of the cake.
Trim and neaten one edge of the strip.
21) Brush round the cake with hot apricot glaze, then turn the cake on its side and lift carefully on to the paste so that the trimmed edge is level with the top of the cake.
22) Roll the cake along the strip until the side is completely covered.
23) Trim away any extra paste and turn the cake back with the almond paste top downwards on the sugared working surface.
24) Trim any paste away from the base or sides and neaten any joins.
Roll a straight-sided jar or tin round the sides so the paste sticks firmly to the cake.
25) Turn the cake back overâ€”right side upâ€”and place on an upturned plate.
26) Cover lightly with greaseproof paper and put the cake away in a cool dry place for 3-7 days.
27) The almond paste should be allowed to dry out before the royal icing is put on, especially if the finished iced cake is likely to be kept for some time.
28) If this is not done, the oil from the almonds can stain a white icing yellow.
29) Almond paste covered cakes can be served as dessert.