Penguin Ski slope Christmas cake
Featuring skiing penguins kids are sure to love this fun twist on the classic Christmas cake.
1. Heat the jam in a small saucepan until bubbling. Set aside to cool slightly. Place the cake upside down on a chopping board. Starting just over halfway across the top of the cake, cut diagonally through the cake to the bottom edge to make 2 wedges. Brush the top of the larger piece of cake with a little jam, then line up the smaller piece on top to create a steep slope. Transfer to cake stand or serving board and brush the whole cake with the rest of the jam.
2. Knead the marzipan briefly, then dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll the marzipan into a large oval, 5mm thick. Drape the marzipan over the cake, then smooth down with your hands. Trim the edges, use the off-cuts to patch up any gaps. Loosely cover with clingfilm and set aside for 24 hrs to harden.
3. The next day, stir the royal icing to loosen. Starting on the slope of the cake, spread the icing with a palette knife until the whole cake is evenly covered. Use the back of a spoon to create peaks and to smooth out a ski track in the middle of the cake.
4. Push 6 cocktail sticks into the cake at the sides of the ski track where you want to add trees, leaving 2cm exposed. Divide the green icing into 6 unequal pieces and shape into cones. Remove cocktail sticks from the cake and insert into the base of a tree and use scissors to cut branches, starting at the top and rotating as you cut. Carefully slot the tree on its cocktail stick back into the hole in the cake. Once in place, pinch the top of the tree into a point. Repeat with the remaining trees.
5. To make the penguins, take two thirds of the black icing and divide into 3 small and 3 large balls for the heads and bodies. Use a little water to attach each head to a body, then make flippers by rolling the remaining black icing into 6 balls and pinching into shape. Fix to the sides of each penguin body with water.
6. Roll the white icing into 3 small and 3 large balls and flatten into circles. With a little water, stick the larger pieces onto each penguin’s tummy. Cut a small triangle from the smaller circles and fix, indent up, with water to make the face of each penguin. Add the eyes by pressing a cocktail stick through the white faces to the black fondant and wiggling gently to enlarge the hole. Make triangles and ovals out of the orange icing and attach to each penguin for a beak and feet.
7. Dress the penguins with red fondant accessories, such as hats, scarves or ear muffs, then arrange them on the ski track and board, use cocktail sticks to keep them in place if necessary. To finish, scatter the sugar snowflakes onto the ski slope and around the cake board, then sift icing sugar over the penguins and trees to create a snowy look. Remove the cocktail sticks before eating.