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The Beehive

Image of The Beehive

1 quantity quick-mix sponge cake mix
900 g/2 lb yellow marzipan
5 tbsp apricot jam, warmed and sieved
Black food colouring
25 g/1 oz sugarpaste icing

Materials And Equipment

900 g/2 lb pudding basin
23 cm/9 inch fluted or round cake board
20 cm/8 inch square of rice paper
Florist's wire covered in florist's tape


Serves: 8


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease and flour the pudding basin. Spoon in the cake mixture and smooth the surface. Bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake in the basin for about 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

2. Cut off about 175 g/6 oz of marzipan and set aside, wrapped in clear film. Knead the remainder on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, then roll it out into a long, thin sausage shape. If it breaks when it gets too long, make more than one sausage. Place the cake, dome side up, on the cake board and brush evenly with apricot jam.

3. Starting at the back of the base, coil the marzipan sausage around the cake, keeping it neat and tight all the way to the top. Any joins that have to be made should be placed at the back of the cake.

4. Using a small, sharp knife, cut an arched doorway at the front of the cake. Remove the cut-out section and cut away some of the inside cake to make a hollow. Brush the crumbs away from the doorway.

5. To make six bees, divide the reserved marzipan in half and colour one portion black. Set aside a cherry-sized ball of black marzipan, and wrap in clear film. Divide both the black and the yellow marzipan into 12 small balls. To make a bee, pinch together two balls of each colour, alternately placed. Stick them together with a little water, if necessary. Cut the rice paper into six pairs of rounded wings, then stick them to the bees with a tiny drop of water.

6. Use the reserved black marzipan and sugarpaste icing to make the facial features. Then cut the florist's wire into various lengths and then use it to pierce the bees from underneath. Once secure, press the other end of the wire into the cake in various places. The wires must be removed before serving.

Storing:- The finished cake can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to two days.

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