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Image of Halloween

50 g (2 oz) butter, softened
100 g (4 oz) icing sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons (10 ml) hot water
20 cm (8 inch) round sponge cake
3 tablespoons apricot jam
325 g (12 oz) almond paste
725 g (1 lb 10 oz) ready-to-roll fondant icing
Yellow, dark blue and black food colouring
6 silver balls


23 cm (9 inch) round cake board
Fine paintbrush


1 To make the buttercream: cream together the butter, icing sugar and water until smooth and fluffy. Slice the cake in half hori­zontally and sandwich together with the buttercream.

2 Put the cake on the cake board. Melt the apricot jam with 1 table­spoon (15 ml) water. Brush it over the top and sides of the cake. Roll out the almond paste on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar and use to cover the cake.

3 To decorate the cake: using a 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin as a tem­plate, draw a circle on greaseproof paper. Draw a cloud, witch, moon and bat inside the circle. Colour 450 g (1 lb) of the fondant bright yellow, 150 g (6 oz) dark blue and 100 g (4 oz) black, leaving a tiny piece white. Brush the sides of the cake with a little water. Roll out the yellow fondant and use it to cover the cake and board. Trim off the excess and reserve the trimmings.

4 Fix the drawing on top of the cake with pins and prick through the paper on the inside edge of the pencil lines with a pin. Prick out all the shapes except the moon and then remove the paper.

5 Using a small, pointed knife, cut the fondant along the pin marks and carefully remove each shape to use as templates. Roll out 100 g (4 oz) of the blue fondant, just larger than the cloud template. Put the cut-out yellow cloud on top of the blue fondant and cut around it. Peel away the blue and reserve the yel­low. Fit the blue cloud into place on the cake, overlapping the edge.

6 Roll out the black fondant and cut out the witch and bat shapes using the yellow templates. Fit into place. Pin the drawing back on the top of the cake and mark out the moon with a pin. Cut out and replace the shape with rolled-out yellow trimmings. Push silver balls into the blue fondant for stars. Use tiny white and black fondant trim­mings for the eye of the moon.

7 Roll out the remaining blue and yellow fondant into 30 cm (12 inch) lengths. Twist together and fix around the cake with a little water.

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