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Christening Sampler

Image of Christening Sampler
Ingredients

20 cm/8 in square rich fruit cake
3 tbsp apricot jam, warmed and sieved
450 g/1 lb marzipan
675 g/1 lb/2 x quantity sugarpaste icing
Brown, blue, pink, yellow, orange, green, cream and purple food colourings

Materials And Equipment

25 cm/10 in square cake board
Paintbrush
Small heart-shaped biscuit cutter

Details

Serves: 30


Method

1. Brush the cake with the apricot jam. On a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan and use to cover the cake. Leave to dry for 12 hours.


2. Take two-thirds of the sugarpaste icing and cut off one-third of this. Roll out the smaller portion to the size of the top of the cake. Brush the top of the cake with a little water and cover with the icing.


3. Colour the larger portion of sugarpaste icing brown and divide into four equal amounts. Roll out each to the width of the cake side and about 1 cm/½ in longer than the height. Brush each cake side with a little water, than press the brown icing into place, folding over the extra at the top to represent a picture frame. Cut off each corner at an angle to make a mitred join. Reserve any trimmings. Place the cake on the cake board.


4. Paint the sides with brown food colouring thinned with a little water to represent wood grain.


5. Take the remaining sugarpaste icing and colour small amounts yellow, orange, brown, purple, cream, and two shades each of blue, green and pink. Leave a little white. Use these colours to shape the ducks, teddy bear, bulrushes, water, apple-blossom branch and leaves. Roll out a small piece of pink icing and cut out a heart with the small heart-shaped biscuit cutter. Roll out a small piece of white icing and cut out the baby's initial. For the border, roll out strips of light blue and yellow icing and cut into oblongs and squares. Make small balls and squares from the purple icing. For the apple blossom, gently work together the two pinks and the white sugarpaste to give a marbled effect. Shape the flowers and add a small white ball in the centre of each. Leave all the shapes to dry on greaseproof paper. Then stick all the decorations on to the cake with a little water.


6. With any leftover coloured icing, roll out long strips of icing with your hands to make the embroidery threads. Form them into loops and use small strips of brown icing to hold the threads together. Arrange around the base of the cake.

Storing:- The finished cake can be kept in an airtight container for up to three weeks.

Tip:- Using the same techniques described here, you can change the overall design by modelling different figures and choosing different colours. You could also make a larger name plaque and pipe the baby's christian name on to it.

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