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Christmas Hints and Tips

Even Better Christmas Baking with Dr. Oetker

Read our tips and watch our tutorials for Christmas How To's on making and decorating your Christmas cake and much more.

And share with us your favourite Christmas tips and recipes on Facebook or Twitter We always love to see what you have been baking!

Christmas Cake Tips

  • The thought of making your own Christmas fruit cake can be daunting if you have never done it before because there seems to be so much mystery and hard work surrounding it. In theory, it should be baked in October then ‘fed’ with a little rum or brandy once a week. This allows the deep flavours to mature and intensify. But don’t worry if you don’t make it until a few days before Christmas.

  • If eggs are added too quickly, it could cause the whole mixture to separate. For beginners, the way to avoid this is to add the beaten eggs just a teaspoonful at a time and whisking with a hand whisk. If it does curdle, don’t worry; the cake just won’t be as light but it’s not a disaster.

  • Several times before Christmas you can ‘feed’ your cake – make small holes in the top and base of the cake with a cocktail stick or a small skewer and then spoon over a few teaspoons of brandy. Orange juice is a perfect substitution for the alcohol.

  • To store your cake, wrap it in a double layer of silicone paper, then in double foil, before storing it.

  • Do not store in a plastic airtight box or your cake will sweat.

  • Burnt fruitcake? If you find that your fruit cake browns too much when baking, try covering the top with baking parchment, this will prevent the top of the cake from burning.

Marzipan Tips

  • An easy way to calculate how much marzipan you need is to weigh the cake – you will need about half the weight of the cake in Marzipan to cover the top and sides.
  • When rolling out Marzipan, use icing sugar instead of cornflour as the cornflour may ferment with the natural yeasts in the sugar on the almond paste. For the smoothest and easiest finish, try Dr. Oetker’s Ready Rolled Marzipan!
  • To make sure the marzipan sticks to your fruit cake, brush the top and sides with apricot jam. If your apricot jam has large fruit pieces in it, warm in a pan with a little boiled water and then sieve for use.
  • Create your own colourful tasty cake decorations using Dr. Oetker Ready to Roll Marzipan. Simply add a small amount of food colour to the marzipan using a cocktail stick and knead the colour into the marzipan. Mould into different shapes, from stars and hearts to fruit shapes for pretty personalised decorations.

Icing Tips

  •  For a quick and easy cake covering, use Dr. Oetker Ready Rolled Regal-Ice. Brush the marzipanned cake with a little sherry and lay over the ready rolled icing. Smooth out the top and sides with the palm of your hand or a specialised smoother.
  • When trimming the excess icing, use a pizza cutter instead of a knife to get a controlled and clean finish.
  • If you are covering a square cake with Regal Icing - roll out and apply in the same way as you would a round cake. Once rolled, place the sheet of icing over the cake (using the rolling pin for support) and then work your way from the top of the cake, smooth down the sides evenly lifting out any creases carefully. Make sure the sugarpaste is neatly fitted on to the corners. To achieve an extra smooth surface polish with a smoother or the flat of your hand.
  • To colour your Regal-Ice Icing, add a few drops of our Gel Food Colour to a small amount of icing and fold into itself until fully blended.
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