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Festive fruit & spice decoration

Decorating a simple iced cake with herbs, spices, nuts and fruit works to great effect and is especially easy for beginners to try

  • Prep: 25 mins
    Plus drying
  • Cuts into 12 slices
  • Easy
  • Cuts into 12 slices
  • Easy

Ingredients

  • 18-23cm fruit cake covered with marzipan and ready-to-roll white icing
  • 1 blood or regular orange
  • icing sugar, to dust
  • 1 egg white
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 1 quantity thick royal icing
  • star anise
  • cinnamon sticks, gold dragees, gold candles and a wide gold ribbon

Method

  1. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Cut the orange into thin slices and space out in a single layer. Sift over a thin layer of icing sugar and bake for 40-45 mins until dry but not over-browned. Allow to cool completely.

  2. Meanwhile, make the frosted rosemary. Beat the egg white with a fork until lightly frothy, then spread the caster sugar over a large, flat plate. Dip the tips of the rosemary into the egg white, shake off the excess and roll in the caster sugar. Set aside to dry on a sheet of baking paper or a plate, for at least 30 mins.

  3. Meanwhile, make the royal icing. To decorate, spoon almost all of the royal icing onto the centre of the cake. Arrange the frosted rosemary, a couple of orange slices and the rest of the decorations on top, pressing them into the icing to secure. Position the candles last. Tie the ribbon around the base and fix with a dot of leftover icing.

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