I did actually make a Christmas cake once, from scratch, in highschool cooking class. I was SO excited about decorating it, there is something so beautiful and festive about pristine white fondant icing neatly laid over a thick slab of fruit cake.
But it was really messy and time consuming and by the time it actually came time to decorate the cake I was a bit over it.
So, when the urge hit me again to make and decorate a Christmas cake I realised there was a totally cheating way to do it… all I needed was three things.
Premade Fondant. Fruit cake. Rolling pin.
Well, not QUITE “done”. But near enough.
The GREAT thing about this “recipe” (ha, if you could call it that) is that one packet of fondant should cover two homebrand fruit cakes from Woolworths. Which means you can make one for you and one for the children to decorate (or one for each child, if that’s how you want to do it, but really… really… this activity was all about me, and I needed the second cake to let Miss 2 year old decorate one so I could decorate my own in relative peace.)
So, lets begin.
Heat up a coupe of tablespoons of jam, either on a pot or in the microwave, just for a couple of minutes until it’s warm and runny and lightly brush the entire surface of your cakes – this will give the fondant something to stick on to.
Divide the fondant in half, dust a clean and dry bench with icing sugar ad knead a portion of the fondant for a minute or two until it’s soft and pliable.
Start rolling out the fondant, gently rolling it flat. Try to encourage it to form a squarish shape, and keep moving the fondant so it doesn’t get stuck to the bench – add more icing sugar if it starts to stick. The cake is 13cms wide, so you want the fondant to be about 23 cms wide (and square) so you can lay it over the cake and it drapes well over the sides.
Carefully roll the fondant up over the rolling pin and use the rolling pin to lift it over the cake and lay it down – making sure it’s going on centered and the sides are completely covered.
Gently rub the fondant smoothly onto the top of the cake and cup the corners with your hand and gently press the fondant until it bends and moulds to the edges of the cake. Pres the fondant onto the cake down the sides to the base of the cake the whole way around – take your time and be gentle.
Cut around the edge, about 1/2 cm from the very base of the cake and remove the excess, then smooth up the base with your fingers.
Admire your work!
Now to decorate, this it the fun part and totally up to you how you want to do this. You’ll probably want a piping bag with a few different nozzles to play with and a basic butter cream . I’d recommend having a practice run on baking paper with the icing.
Here’s what I’ve done with mine.
(yes, I’m aware I misspelled “Christmas”…. would you believe I practiced writing it out on baking paper several times before I did it on the cake and I still messed it up *palm face* )
And *DRUM ROLL* Miss 2 year olds amazing creation….
I’m so proud.