19 December 2009

White Snow... White Icing - A Recipe For Royal Icing

White Snow... White Icing - A Recipe For Royal Icing

Christmas time in snowy North Yorkshire

It's freezing outside, never getting much above -2oC outside and the roads are all icy and mean. 

But it does get you into the Christmas spirit - we've got a wreath on the front door (complete with its cassia sticks), the tree has been decorated, Christmas cards are on every available space and are being hung now from strings hanging along wooden beams in the sitting room (not sure how many of the people who've sent us cards I actually remember) and the children have broken up from school.  And we're on the way with wrapping Christmas presents; we'll work out the gaps in our list this weekend.

So with white outside, it seems very fitting to be icing the Christmas cake.  We're never that neat at the icing of cakes, but the end result tastes the same.  I've never been one for presentation; basically I'm rubbish at the finickity side of cooking, so I leave that to others.

The recipe I use is one from Claire Macdonald of Macdonald, which is very similar to our traditional family recipe.  The only difference being that she uses glycerine and our traditional one just uses the egg whites, so it's a bit more gloopy and a little less stiff.


750g/ 1½ lb icing sugar, sieved

4 large free-range egg whites, beaten to a froth

2tsp glycerine

1tbsp lemon juice

Sieving the icing sugar

Beat the egg whites to a froth, then add the glycerine and the lemon juice and whisk a bit more to get it all throughly mixed through.  Mix in the sieved icing sugar.  Beat it together really well, then cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave the icing for an hour or two.

Covering the Christmas cake with icing

Then simply dollop some icing onto the marzipanned cake and start spreading it over.  Leave for a few days to set...well until Christmas, I suppose.

Now it's time for Strictly Come Dancing Finals...Ricky Whittle is the best dancer but does he have the public support; we shall find out very shortly.