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How to marzipan and ice a Christmas cake:
- Heat the jam with a splash of water and push it through a sieve.
- Brush this all over the sides and top of the cake in an even, thin layer.
- Dust the work surface and your rolling pin with icing sugar.
- Dust the ball of marzipan with icing sugar too .
- Flatten the marzipan using a downwards pressing motion, turning 90 degrees a few times.
- Then start to roll it out, with even pressure, turning as you go.
- When it’s the desired thickness and size curl it onto the rolling pin.
- Using the rolling pin, lift the marzipan and unroll it onto the cake starting at the back.
- Use the flats of your hands to smooth the marzipan into place.
- Trim away the excess marzipan from the base of the cake using a sharp knife.
- To cover in ready-to-roll icing start by dusting the work surface and rolling pin again with icing sugar.
- Take some ready-to-roll icing, which has been kneaded to make it more pliable and dust that with icing sugar too.
- Repeat the same rolling process used for the marzipan until the icing is about 1/2cm thick.
- Brush the cake with cold boiled water to help the icing stick.
- Start by laying the icing at the back of the cake and lower it down to the front.
- Use the flats of your hands to smooth the icing over the cake.
- Neatly trim away any excess icing. The cake is now ready to decorate.