My Mom baked and iced a fruit cake for Xmas every year when we were growing up, as is the English tradition. As kids we didn't really appreciate fruit cakes much, but the delicious aromas of boiled fruit, brandy, marzipan and royal icing have become a nostalgic and important piece of Xmas for me over time. My Mom would usually wrap a gaudy, fringed and festive ribbon around the sides of the cake, and there'd usually be a plastic sign pressed down on top of the cake saying "Merry Christmas."
The fruit cake I baked at the very end of October this year in preparation for Xmas has been 'kept moist' with weekly additions of brandy.
Once that stage was over, the next step involved rolling out marzipan into a thin sheet, and covering the cake with it. To make sure it sticks down firmly, I brushed the cake with warmed apricot jam, to act as glue.
Once that had dried out and set enough, it was time for the royal icing and decorating. I haven't taken out any festive decorations this year, including my cake toppers, so here' what I did instead.
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