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The same method for applying marzipan to a christmas gift cake is used for both round and square christmas gift cake. Make up the required quantity of marzipan for the christmas gift cake, or alternatively use a commercial marzipan. Place almost half of the marzipan on a working surface dredged with icing sugar, or between two sheets of polythene. Roll out evenly until it is an inch larger than the top of the christmas gift cake. Brush the top of the christmas gift cake with apricot glaze, and invert the christmas gift cake onto the marzipan. Using a small palette knife, draw up the edge of the marzipan, attaching it to the dies of the cake and giving an even edge to the top of the cake. Place the christmas gift cake, marzipan-side up, on a cake board and brush the sides with apricot glaze. Cut two pieces of string, one the exact height of the christmas gift cake and the other the complete circumference. Roll out the remaining marzipan to a strip the circumference and height of the christmas gift cake, or in two shorter strips if necessary. Loosely roll the marzipan into a coil. Place one end on the side of the cake and unroll carefully, moulding the marzipan to the side of the christmas gift cake and making sure the marzipan touches the board. Using a small palette knife, smooth the join at the ends of the strips and where the strip meets the marzipan on top of the christmas gift cake. If the marzipan seems unduly moist, rub it all over with sifted icing sugar. Store the christmas gift cake, uncovered, in a warm dry place for at least 24 hours before applying any icing. For tiered wedding cakes the marzipan should be allowed to dry in the same way for at least a week before icing to prevent the oils from the marzipan seeping into the royal icing during storage.
To make royal icing for a christmas gift cake, beat egg whites until frothy, then gradually beat in half of the sugar using a wooden spoon. A mixer can be used, but it will incorporate a lot of air and the resulting bubbles will be difficult to disperse. Add the lemon juice, glycerine and half of the remaining sugar. Beat well until smooth and very white. Gradually beat in enough of the remaining icing sugar to give a consistency which will just stand in soft peaks. Put the icing into an airtight container or cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave for several hours, if possible, to allow most of the air bubbles to come to the surface and burst. The christmas gift cake icing is now ready for coating a christmas gift cake or it can be thickened, for piping stars, flowers, and other decorations, with more sifted icing sugar or thinned down, for flooding, with lightly beaten egg white or strained lemon juice. Royal icing for a christmas gift cake can be made in any quantity as long as you allow one egg white to each eight ounces of icing sugar. However, it is better to make up not more than a two pound quantity of icing at a time because the icing keeps better if made in smaller quantities. While using the icing, cover the bowl with a damp cloth to prevent a skin forming. Powdered egg albumen, which is available from specialist cake shops, can be made up according to the instructions on the packet and used in place of fresh egg whites for a christmas gift cake.