Recipe: Royal Icing for a Christmas Cake
Your Christmas cake, whether bought or home-made, will benefit from a covering of your own Royal Icing. This traditional Royal Icing recipe is the icing on the cake!
Nothing can beat the delicacy of home made Royal Icing smoothed onto a traditional Christmas cake. Even if you buy a good branded cake in a supermarket, it will be enhanced by your own Royal Icing.
It takes a bit of patience and time to complete icing a cake the traditional Royal Icing way. However, with practice, the experience can be very rewarding and the results extremely satisfying.
First, however, ensure you have applied almond paste all over the cake for the preparatory base, otherwise your icing will simply slide off the cake’s surface. You can make your own almond paste or buy it ready-made from the store.
Traditional Royal Icing
This Royal Icing is a recipe to cover the cake only. It is not for decoration, but is the base on which you can decorate.
Mix the icing the day before you mean to ice the cake. Also, at stages 5 and 8, it requires to be left overnight.
Covers the top and sides of a 20 cm/8 inch diameter round cake or an 18 cm/7 inch square cake.
- 450 g/1 lb icing sugar
- 2 egg-whites
- 2 teaspoons glycerine (buy at chemist)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice with no bits, so strain if necessary
- Sieve icing sugar three times. This ensures that the icing has absolutely no lumps at all, even tiny ones.
- Put egg-whites into a bowl and beat, very lightly.
- Add the icing sugar to egg-whites, a tablespoon at a time. Beat each spoonful in rapidly with a round-bladed knife.
- Add glycerine and strained lemon juice and mix in well. (Glycerine stops the icing from going hard).
- Put a damp cloth over bowl of icing. Put bowl in a polythene bag and leave it overnight.
- The next day, put the cake on a board at least 8 cm/3 inches wider than the cake.
- Put a first coat of icing on the sides of the cake. You can use a plastic scraper, a hot knife, or a metal ruler. Dip the knife if used in a jug of boiling water, but wipe it dry before use. Never use a wet knife with this type of icing as it makes the icing too soft and it may start to run.
- Allow the icing on the sides to dry overnight.
- Put a first coat on the top of the cake. It is better to use a hot knife or metal ruler for the top, not a plastic scraper.
- Allow time for the icing to dry on top, then give the sides a second coat. Two coats of icing give a better finish.
- Finally, finish icing the top a second time.
Once dry, you can decorate your Christmas cake!
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