Tag Archives: marzipan

Ruffle icing

From Cradle to Crown – Renshaw Baking Royal Baby Cake Competition

As I am sure you will all know there is a Royal baby on the way! If you don’t know, then where have you been?? It is all quite exciting and what better way to celebrate the arrival of a Royal baby than with cake! I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Renshaw Baking who invited me to take part in their ‘Royal Baby Cake Competition’ and they even sent me the icing and marzipan to do so.  As if that wasn’t incentive enough to get involved in the competition, the first prize is a place in a class at the Peggy Porschen Academy, I couldn’t say no – I would absolutely LOVE to win that! All I had to do next was come up with an idea. I played around with a few ideas, but not knowing if the baby is going to be a boy or a girl made it a little bit more tricky. Last time I made a royal themed cake was for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, I used a stencil on that cake, you can can see it here. This time I wanted to use the icing I was sent to create a topper for the cake, this isn’t something I do very often so thought it would be a good chance to get some practice in! In the end I opted for a red, blue, white and gold colour scheme for the cake. Red, white and blue for the Union Jack colours and gold to add a bit of royalty. For the theme of the cake I decided on ‘From Cradle to Crown’, after all this baby may be King or Queen one day! This is the result:

Royal Baby Cake

Top of cake

The cake itself is a fruit cake, I chose to make this for a few reasons, one is that it is traditional and the Royal Family is something that is traditional so I thought it well suited. Another reason is that the fruit in the cake bejewels the cake, especially the glace cherries, again making it suitable for a royal cake. This recipe is a quick and easy fruit cake, you can even alter the fruits that you put in to your taste, I used dried figs, sultanas, raisins and glace cherries.

Cake

To make the cake you will need (makes a 6 inch cake):

120g chopped dried figs
150g sultanas
150g raisins
150g glace cherries (halved)
150g unsalted butter
175g golden syrup
175ml milk
225g plain flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp mixed spice
2 eggs
Rum (or brandy or sherry)

Heat the butter, syrup and milk in a pan until they are well combined and the butter has melted, simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the figs, raisings, sultanas and cherries. Mix in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and eggs. Pour the batter into a greased and lined 6 inch cake tin and bake in the oven for 1.5 to 2 hours at 150C until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Pierce the top of the cake with a skewer several times and drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of rum, repeat on the bottom. You can keep feeding the cake with alcohol a couple of times a day until you ice it.

Fruit cake

To decorate you will need:

Apricot jam
Marzipan
White ready to roll icing
Red, blue and yellow icing
Water
Gold lustre powder
Gold ribbon

Now it is time to ice it. I was sent this lovely box of marzipan and icing from Renshaw Baking, it contained a packed of natural marzipan, a packet of white ready to roll icing and a primary colour pack of ready to roll icing that contained blue, red, yellow, black and green icing. Plenty to work with! Renshaw Baking are the royal warrant holders for their almond products so I definitely wanted to include marzipan in the cake. I decided to both fill and cover the cake with marzipan.

Renshaw

Heat the apricot jam gently with a tablespoon of water until it is runny. Cut the cake in half and brush both cut sides of the cake with a little apricot jam. Roll out the marzipan to about 5mm thickness and lay over the bottom half of the cake. Trim the edges and place the top layer on top. Roll out the rest of the marzipan, brush the top and sides of the cake with some more apricot jam and then cover the cake with the marzipan, trimming the edges and smoothing down to give a neat finish.

Marzipan filling

Marzipan

Next cover the cake in white icing, rolling it out to about 4mm, draping it over the cake, smoothing the top and the sides and finishing it by trimming the edges. I used a patterned rolling pin to create texture on the top of the cake and then brushed the top of the cake with gold lustre powder. Make the feet out of red and blue icing, make the soles of the feet and then add little balls of icing for the toes. Make the crown out of yellow icing, brushed with gold lustre and finished with red icing for the jewels. Make the cradle out of white icing, creating a base first, adding a rim around the top and a pillow. Make the baby out of marzipan, a ball for the head and a sausage for the body. Finish it by making a blanket for the baby, use the edge of a metal knife to create a criss cross pattern and brush the blanket with gold lustre powder. Finish both the cradle and the crown with a thin gold ribbon and use the same ribbon around the top of the cake, tying it in a bow.

DSC_0871

Baby

 

Position the baby in the cradle, the footsteps and the crown on the cake so the footsteps lead from the cradle to the crown.

Cake toppers

The final step is to finish the cake off with some ruffled butter icing on the side of the cake in red and blue.

To make the buttericing beat together 200g unsalted butter with 400g seived icing sugar until well combined. Divide the icing into 2 bowls. Add red food colouring to one and blue food colouring to the other and mix well. I like to use paste food colourings. Fill 2 piping bags fitted with petal nozzles with the butter icings. I like to use the Wilton 104 nozzle, it is also good for creating rose petals. Alternate red and blue around the cake moving the nozzle from side to side to create the ruffle as you pipe a line from top to bottom. You can read more about the ruffle piping technique here. The cake is now finished and ready to enjoy if you can bring yourself to cut it!

Ruffle icing

 

Slice of cake

 

Thank you to Renshaw Baking for inviting me to take part in the competition and sending me the icing and marzipan. I found all the products really easy to work with and was very happy with the finish they gave. I also love the colours in the primary colour ready to roll icing pack, they are lovely and vibrant.

Happy Baking!

Lottie xx

 

 

 

hot cross scones

Hot Cross Scones

Hot Cross Scones

Happy Easter everybody! The sun is out and it looks like it is going to be a glorious Easter Sunday! Easter is also the perfect time to bake, if you are a chocolate fan you won’t be short of ideas and if you like making bread then chances are you will be making some hot cross buns this weekend. Last year I made hot cross buns but I also made a German Easter bread which is a bit like brioche, it is called Osterzopf. This year however I didn’t have the time to make bread and needed something much quicker, I therefore turned to Hot Cross Scones, just like Hot Cross Buns but in a scone form! Perfect for those of you that don’t have the time to wait around for bread to rise! I used this recipe from Delicious Magazine but took my influence from the cross from a simnel cake by using marzipan and grilling it to give it some colour.

You will need:

225g self raising flour
75 g butter
40g brown sugar
75g small sultanas
50g cut mixed peel
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1 large egg beaten
4tbsp milk

Rub the flour and butter together with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, sultanas, peel and spice and mix in. Add the milk and egg and bring together to form a soft dough. Knead gently to bring the dough together and roll out to 2cm thickness.  Use a round cookie cutter to cut out the scones, don’t twist  the cutter or the scones won’t rise evenly. Brush the tops of the scones with milk. Add flour crosses if using. Bake in a preheated oven at 220C for 15 minutes.

Now for the cross, you can either do as the recipe suggests and use plain flour and water. If you are doing this then mix 50g plain flour with 1-2 tbsp water. Roll out, cut strips and place the cross on the scones. Do this before baking. When the scones come out of the oven dissolve 2 tbsp caster sugar in hot water and brush over the tops of the scones to give them a glaze.

If you are using marzipan crosses:

Brush the tops of the scones

 

You need marzipan, apricot jam and a beaten egg yolk.

Roll out the marzipan until it is quite thin and cut into strips. Warm some apricot jam in a pan and brush over the tops of the scones to glaze them and also help the marzipan stick. Arrange the marzipan strips on top of the scones to form a cross and trim the edges. Brush the marzipan crosses with beaten egg yolk.

scones 2

 

Place the scones under a heated grill to brown the marzipan, watch them very closely, this will happen quickly and you don’t want them to burn. Be careful when removing them as they will be very hot. Allow to cool.

Scones

Enjoy your almost hot cross buns, quick and easy hot cross scones!

Lottie xx

stollen

Stollen

Bread isn’t something that I make very often, it takes so long and you have to wait for ages before you can actually put it in the oven. But with time off from University for Christmas, what better time to make some bread. So this week a whole day was devoted to bread making! Yay!  The result – 3 stollen loaves and a rather huge loaf of white french bread. Stollen is the perfect combination of bread and cake and tastes so much of Christmas! This is another German bake, Germany seem to do Christmas so well! Apparently there is actually a Stollen festival every year in Dresden! Having never made stollen before I therefore didn’t have a trusty recipe to use, so did a bit of internet research and decided to go with this German Stollen recipe from Waitrose. It worked pretty well, I was pleased. The only thing that didn’t happen is that it didn’t quite ‘double in size’ as it says it should, I think with all the fruit it is just too heavy. It didn’t matter though because once it is baked, it has a lovely stollen consistency.

2 stollen

You need:

  • 1/2tsp mixed spice
  • 225g Strong White Flour
  • ½tsp salt
  • 50g butter
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 150g Mixed Fruit ( I used a mix of raisins, sultanas and candied peel)
  • 25g  Glacé Cherries
  • 25g flaked almonds
  • 2tsp Fast Action Dried Yeast
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 100ml warm milk
  • 100g Waitrose White Marzipan
  • 25g butter
  • 50g icing sugar

In a bowl rub the butter into the flour, salt and mixed spice, then stir in the sugar, cherries, mixed fruit, almonds and yeast.

Stollen mix

 

Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and add the warm milk and beaten egg. Mix to make a soft dough and then knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes.

Kneaded dough

Dough

Russell kneading

My boyfriend gets involved in the kneading.

Cover the dough with oiled cling film and leave to rise for 20 minutes. Roll out the dough to an oval shape and roll out the marzipan into a strip. Put the marzipan in the centre of the dough and fold the stollen dough around the marzipan, sealing the edges. Put on a greased baking tray, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 1 hour. This recipe makes one large stollen loaf. To make 3 reasonable sized loaves I doubled the ingredients and split the dough into 3.

3 stollen rising

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 40 minutes. It should sound hollow when you tap it on the base if it is done.

Baked stollen

While the stollen is still warm, brush with melted better and dust with a icing sugar. Then leave to cool and enjoy!

Finished stollen

Sliced stollen

Merry Christmas!

Lottie xx