Who better to share some Christmas icing time-saving tips than Marie O'Toole, president of the Irish countrywomen's association? Here's her quickest way to ice the cake while keeping its taste and looks intact.
Use a premade cake if you're pressed for time. It should measure 28cm square. Trim it if it’s too large, as it won’t be seen. You can also make a chocolate or any other cake you prefer.
❆ 1kg Decobake ready-to-roll icing
❆ Alcohol, preferably gin or vodka as dark alcohol may stain the icing
❆ Icing sugar, sifted, for dusting
❆ Star-shaped cutters in various sizes
❆ Rolling Pin
❆ Edible glue
❆ Silver balls
❆ Silver edible dust
❆ Trellis tool, if using, or festive ribbon to fit
❆ 30.5cm /12” square cake board.
1. Knead the icing until it's supple before rolling out.
2. Place the cake on a cake board. Brush the cake all over with alcohol, especially the sides. This will help the icing stick and it evaporates afterwards, so it won’t affect the taste.
3. Dust a board or table with sifted icing sugar. Roll out the icing to a depth of 0.25cm. Measure to make sure it will cover the cake.
4. Lift the icing with the back of your hands and place it on top of the cake.
5. Sift some icing sugar onto your hands and gently shape around the sides, paying particular attention to the corners.
6. Trim the sides with a knife.
7. Using the leftover icing, stamp out three large, four medium and three small stars.
8. Mark the middle of the cake and brush a small blob of edible glue on the mark.
9. Arrange the stars by brushing each one in the centre with a little edible glue, then stack them at different angles so that they resemble a Christmas tree. Stand the final small star upright at the top, using edible glue to keep it in place.
10. Decorate the sides with a trellis tool and stick silver balls into the indentations. Alternatively, place a festive ribbon around the sides of the cake and make a nice bow.
11. Finally, place a brush into some edible silver dust and flick it over the Christmas tree.