Cooked or uncooked icing is used to decorate or coat cakes, petits fours, biscuits and pastries.

To coat a cake with a chosen icing, brush the cake with apricot glaze and allow it to set before covering with icing. This preliminary glazing is not essential but it helps to give a professional finish because the crumbs are held in place and will not become mixed with the icing. The icing should be fairly thick but not so thick that it will not spread out to cover any uneven patches. Decoration in the form of dried fruits, nuts – chopped or whole – crystallised flowers or ‘hundreds and thousands’ may be scattered or arranged on the soft icing and then left to set on the icing. Marbling

Marbling is an effective and simple decoration for cakes which are to be covered with GLACE or soft FONDANT ICING. Add a few drops of food colouring or

1 teaspoon of cocoa powder to

1 tablespoon of the icing and stir well until an even colour is achieved. This colour should be fairly bold so that it contrasts well with the white icing. Make a grease-proof or waxed paper forcing bag and fill it with the coloured icing. Fold the end over and set aside. Coat the cake with the ing icing. Using the point of a knife or a skewer, mark the icing in lines at right-angles to the coloured lines, first drawing the knife or skewer from left to right and then from right to left to create a feathered or marbled effect.

Leave the cake until the icing is set before serving. To ice a rich fruit cake The quantities given are for a 9-inch round cake. Place the cake on a cake board. Brush the cake lightly with apricot glaze. On a surface lightly sprinkled with cornflour , roll out 1 pound of almond paste to about f-inch thick. Cut the paste into strips as wide as the sides of the cake. Straighten the edges. Lift up the circle of almond paste on top of the cake and gently press it on. Trim the edges of the almond paste. Lightly roll over the top with the rolling pin to give a flat surface. Set the cake aside for 5 to 7 days in a cool dry place or until the almond paste has dried slightly and is very firm.

To coat the top and sides of the cake use 1 ½ pounds of ROYAL ICING. Pour the icing over the top of the cake and, using a long-bladed knife, work it backwards and forwards across the cake, gradually spreading the icing over the top and down the sides. Once the cake is covered with the icing, clean the blade of the knife and, holding it vertical against the side of the cake, smooth the sides by drawing the knife blade carefully against the icing. Clean the blade of the knife again and holding it horizontally with the blade vertical, draw the blade carefully across the icing on top of the cake to make it smooth.

If you wish to give the cake a peaked or snow effect, cover the cake with the icing as above and, using a flat-bladed knife, lay the blade against the icing and pull it away with a sharp movement to produce a little peak. Make these peaks all over the sides and over the top as well, if you like. remaining white icing. Snip -inch off the end of the forcing bag and ‘draw’ parallel lines, f-inch apart, over the surface of the cake. Discard any remain- the strips carefully and press them gently against the sides of the cake. Roll out another 1 pound of almond paste with the trimmings to a 10-inch circle. Place

Set the cake aside in a cool place and leave the icing to harden for 1 to 2 days. Place a piece of greaseproof or waxed paper over the top of the cake to prevent it from becoming dusty. If the cake has been smooth-iced, it should be left for 5 to 7 days after icing so that the surface becomes very hard.

To pipe a decoration of royal icing use one-quarter quantity of royal icing and put it into a forcing bag fitted with a nozzle. For piping scrolls, stars, ribbons, etc. use a nylon or plastic forcing bag about 12 or 14 inches long, fitted with a -j-inch star or ribbon nozzle. For piping small amounts of icing for writing or trellis work use a greaseproof or waxed paper forcing bag fitted with a fine plain writing nozzle. half to make a triangle. With the fold or base away from you, place the tip of your left index finger in the centre of the base. Pick up the right hand point and bring it towards the point nearest you. Turn it under slightly. Roll up the cone.

To secure the cone, fold over the point at the open end of the cone three times. Fill the cone with 1 tablespoon of the chosen icing. Fold the open ends inwards to stop the icing oozing out. Snip {-inch off the ends of the forcing bag with scissors just before you are ready to use it.

If you wish to pipe a fancy shape, snip 2-inch off the end of the cone and drop the chosen nozzle inside before filling the cone with icing.

These forcing bags cannot be used more than once, so to pipe more icing just unwrap the greaseproof or waxed paper, remove the nozzle, if used, and drop it inside a fresh bag.

Icing Based on Sugar Syrup

This is an opaque icing for use on large and small sponge cakes. Various flavourings may be added to a basic sugar syrup which is then thickened with icing sugar. This icing is used for coating cakes and should be allowed to set before serving the cake.

For blackcurrant icing, add

2 fluid ounces of blackcurrant juice to the sugar syrup; for chocolate icing, mix

1 tablespoon cocoa to a paste with

1 ½ tablespoons hot water and add it to the sugar syrup; for coffee icing, add

2 teaspoons of instant coffee dissolved in

1 tablespoon hot water to the sugar syrup; for liqueur icing, add

1 tablespoon of rum, brandy or other liqueur to the sugar syrup. Orange or lemon icing may be made by adding the grated rind of two oranges or two lemons to the sugar syrup before it comes to the boil.

4 oz. sugar

4 fl. oz. water chosen flavouring

3 TO

4 oz. icing sugar

In a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water over low heat, stirring constantly. As soon as the sugar has dis- solved, increase the heat to moderate and boil the syrup until it registers 220 °F on a sugar thermometer, or until a small amount of the syrup spooned out of the pan and dropped into cold water will form a sticky coating when rolled between your fingers.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chosen flavouring. Gradually sift 3 ounces of the icing sugar into the pan, stirring constantly. Add more sugar until a coating consistency is reached.

Use the icing immediately.

Icing Sugar Sugar crystals which have been ground to a very fine powder are called icing sugar in Britain and confectioners’ in the United States. Icing sugar is used to make icing or frosting for cakes and biscuits , or it may be substituted for castor sugar in light sponge cakes or biscuits .

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