You will need:
6″ rouund fruit cake
8″ round cake board
8″ cake box
500 grams Marzipan
500 grams Atlantic blue Fondant (sugar paste) – Available from a Piece of Cake Thame
Icing sugar (for dusting)
“Shepherds” Patchwork cutters
Small amount of Mexican Paste
Food colouring in various colours
Edible Adhesive (Gum Arabic) or a small amount of Royal Icing
Making the Decorations
Roll out the Mexican Paste thinly and cut out the following:
- Shepherd (kneeling)
- Extra head dress for shepherd
- 2 x Sheep (right facing)
- 2 x Tufts of grass
- 2 x Palm Trees (I separated the palms to make smaller ones)
- 1 x large star
- 12 x small stars
Leave to dry for 24 hours and then paint a black nose and lines on the sheep’s legs to give definition.
Paint the shepherds cloak with any bright colour you wish and also his head dress and the extra head dress (both the same colour). Do not paint adjoing colours at the same session as they will bleed, leave 24 hours between each colour. When the cloak is dry, using a slightly darker colour paint into the creases for a more realistic look. Finally paint the hands and face flesh colour, the eye blue, the shoes black or brown and the cord round the head dresses and cloak a contrasting colour.
Paint the stars a bright yellow and the palm trees green with brown trunks. Store in a cool dry place.
Take the 6″ cake and place it upside down on the cake board. Spread a thin layer of apricot jam over the surface of the cake. Roll out the marzipan and use to cover the cake (see covering a cake with marzipan) and leave to dry for at least 2 days.
Using brandy, brush the surface of the marzipan, then using the Atlantic Blue Fondant (sugar paste) cover the cake (see covering a cake with Fondant). Do not worry if there are white icing marks on it at this point.
When the cake is covered and smoothed out, take the shepherd and sheep cutters and lay them in position on the cake and gently press to create an imprint of the shapes.
Using a marking tool or the handle of a spoon, mark in the hills in the background.
When all the shapes have been marked, take a piece of kitchen roll and moisten with cool boiled water. Then gently wipe over the entire surface of the cake to bring out the deep blue. Do not worry if you can see the lines where you have wiped as these will disappear when it dries.
Using the pre-made decorations and a little edible glue or royal icing, “glue” the shepherd and sheep in position using the indents on the cake. Place the extra head dress on the shepherd to give a 3D effect, place the large star high in the sky and a smaller one a bit lower. Place the 2 tufts of grass by the feet of the sheep and the palm trees on the hillside.
Using the left over trimings of the atlantic blue icing, cut out several rows of buildings. Moisten the bottom edge of the cake and place the buildings onto the cake. These will be very soft and break easily and it is easier to split the buildings and place in smaller sections at a time. Gently press onto the cake without flatenning the buildings.
Leave for 24 hours and then using a blue petal dust and a soft brush, gently dust the buildings to make them stand out.
Finally stick the remaining small stars in an irregular pattern onto the side of the cake.
Pack into the display box to create a lovely gift or just as a treat to yourself and your family.