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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Decorating your Christmas Cake with Fondant

It has been little over a month ago that I baked my Christmas cake and since then it has had regular doses of brandy to ripen it and to keep it moist. The time is right for me to cover the cake with fondant so all of that moist goodness is locked inside. Give it a few more weeks to ripen and it will be just about perfect around Christmas time!

When covering a cake with fondant you always want the fondant to be far more than what will be needed to cover the cake. The further the fondant hangs over the sides of the cake, the easier it is to achieve neat corners. That is why I start with a sizable amount of fondant.

Soften the fondant by kneading it and then form it into a french loaf shape.

Roll out the fondant with a rolling pin. I prefer to work on a large silicone mat as it makes it easier to transfer the fondant to the cake.

Put your cake on a flat surface.

Gently lay the fondant over the cake. Normally you would 'dirty ice' the cake to keep the fondant from cracking. However, this fruit cake is so moist that there is precious little chance of that happening.

Gently lift the silicone mat away (if you used one). You can also roll the fondant over the rolling pin and gently unroll it over the cake, if you do not have a nice big silicone mat.

Gently fold in the corners and sides. With your hands and not your fingers as it is easy to poke holes in the fondant, or to leave finger nail grooves.

Use a sharp knife to cut the excess fondant away. I prefer a pizza cutter. If the fondant is clean of cake crumbs, you can use it again, but do not reuse it if it has cake particles sticking to it.

I now transferred the cake to a polystyrene punnet. It will make it easy to lift the cake out of the plastic container I will be keeping it in until ready to serve.

I then rolled thin strings of red and yellow fondant to make long 'worms'.

These were twisted into each other to form a Christmas rope.

I brought the cake over to the rope and turned the cake to get the rope around the base of the cake. Lifting and manipulating the rope fondant is tricky and it is much easier to manipulate the cake.

I am now ready to decorate the top.

I love these cutters. Not only do they cut the fondant (or cookie) shapes I want, but they also emboss the top with detail. I will be using this set to cut three different sized leaves from green fondant.

Roll out the green fondant and press the cutter into it. Press gently down on the handle to emboss the top of the fondant. Lightly wiggle the cutter to lift the cutout with the cutter. Press down on the lever to release the cutout. That simple!

See how pretty these are?

I make a green fondant 'worm' rolled very thinly for the 'branch'.

I lay the green in place on the cake.

I then roll small red and yellow balls from the fondant to use as berries.

I add the berries and a few more leaves and then I am done. Hmm, bring on Christmas!

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