Special Request From My Fil - Help!

Decorating By janebrophy Updated 4 Jan 2009 , 9:57pm by lesleyanne

janebrophy Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 1:04am
post #1 of 35

Hi all!
My Father in law recently told me how much he loved the icing people used to use on cakes - he says it was hard, and tasted a little bit like almond....hmmm?!?! Today is his birthday, and I was hoping to sneak in a cake that would bring back some old memories, something he'd enjoy, but I don't know what this mystery frosting is...

I assume he's talking about royal icing? Anyone know? I know it was used to ice wedding cakes....does it harden right thru? Is it at all enjoyable to eat??

Any ideas would be appreciated!! icon_smile.gif

34 replies
Cupcakeluv24 Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 1:20am
post #2 of 35

I would have guessed like a crusting buttercream.... flavored


kakeladi Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 4:16am
post #3 of 35

Well we are too late for his b'day but make him a special Val day something. I am guessing RI, as you said w/some glycerin(I'm sure I've spelled that wrong!) which keeps it from getting hard all the way thru. It can be flavored w/any flavoring/extract once it has been whipped stiff.

janebrophy Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 1:38pm
post #4 of 35

Thanks for the replies! I think we'll be celebrating this coming weekend, it's such a busy time to have a birthday. I feel bad for him, no one ever wants to celebrate his birthday, everyone is too tired from all the holiday kerfuffle! Wouldn't be so bad, except my in laws are big on birthdays, so usually everyone else gets at least a dinner!

He was pretty adamant that the icing was hard, I think I'll try to add some glycerin to royal icing. Weird that someone would want to eat that, but I guess each to their own right?! icon_wink.gif

Doug Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 1:52pm
post #5 of 35

found this recipe for British style fairy cakes icing. dries hard
# 1 cup powdered sugar
# 1 egg white
# 3-4 drops lemon juice
# food coloring
and can be flavored

also found this:




janebrophy Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 3:41pm
post #6 of 35

Wow, Thanks for the links Doug, I don't know how I didn't find them! Still not sure why anyone would eat hard icing, but I guess the glycerine will help. I'll definitely flavour with almond extract....
Hopefully no one loses a tooth!!!! LOL!

gottabakenow Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 8:30pm
post #7 of 35


brincess_b Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 8:44pm
post #8 of 35

marzipan is what i thought of as well!

miss_sweetstory Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 8:45pm
post #9 of 35

I was thinking marzipan too! What flavor was the cake that you FIL was eating. If it was a fruit cake, it was probably covered in marzipan with a thin layer of fondant.

dlinnane Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 8:46pm
post #10 of 35

I'm with gottabakenow - couldn't it be marzipan that he's thinking of? That is used as a frosting in some parts of the world, like fondant (and I use it as a filler all the time - with jam).

It's sweet of you to be so considerate of him.

Rosiepan Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 9:00pm
post #11 of 35

I think he was thinking of royal icing that was always put over marzipan which was used to cover over bumpy fruit cakes to give a smooth base for the icing. I remember eating RI cakes that were so hard you could break your teeth on them. You definately need to put something in to soften the icing but I have never tasted almonds in RI.

maisyone2 Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 9:08pm
post #12 of 35

You need someone from Britain to reply. I'm pretty sure they would cover their cakes with RI.


FullHouse Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 9:14pm
post #13 of 35

There is a technique for cake decorating in which you use RI to ice the entire cake, a friend recently gave me a decorating book that focuses on this.
2-3 egg whites
1/4 tsp lemon juice (can sub. almond)
1lb cs, sifted
glycerine (opt. for covering cake, do not use when piping w/RI)

The book says to cover the cake with marzipan before icing with RI. Spread icing thinly over top, dip spatula in boiling water as needed to help knife go smoothly. Remove excess icing from top edges, use straight edge and pull across top surface, let dry for atleast an hour before icing 2 sides, let those 2 sides dry and ice remaining sides. Leave to dry overnight. Use fine glasspaper sanding block to remove any roughness and brush off powder. It says the cake will then need 2 more coats of icing applied the same way. You can then pipe any design you like on this surface with more RI (no glycerine added). I haven't tried this, as I can't imagine eating a cake completely iced in RI, but the results look pretty and maybe it's no so bad with the glyercine added.

If you do this, please post a pic, I'd love to see how it looks. Good luck, this is so nice of you to do for your FIL.

Arabus Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 9:26pm
post #14 of 35

i am thinking its marzipan can be used on sponge or fruit cake before RI is used. Hope this helps

maisyone2 Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 9:30pm
post #15 of 35

Here's a link to another thread just started with pretty much the same question about using RI.



Rosiepan Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 9:31pm
post #16 of 35

I have marzipanned a few fruit cakes but \\i cover with fondant. The shop brought marzipan I use has to dry on the cake for 2-3 days before covering with icing because of the oil in the almonds seeping through to the icing. so you need to allow enough time for this if you do it.

janebrophy Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 10:39pm
post #17 of 35

Holy Cow! You guys are freaking awesome!! LOL! I just finished painting at my mom's and can't believe all these replies! Thank-you!

Does marzipan dry hard?? I've never used it, or eaten it (to my knowledge)!

NCmomof3boys - That sounds like quite an interesting procedure, I think it's definitely worth trying! When I do, I'll put a pic up on this thread.

Do you think this has to be used with fruit cake? Maybe a sponge?
Looks like I have a new project on my hands!! icon_razz.gif

jocakes Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 10:47pm
post #18 of 35

Its marzipan with royal icing on top, marzipan is like almond paste, doesn't dry hard then you cover it with royal icing which does dry hard - its very traditional british used on christmas cakes and wedding cakes

FullHouse Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 11:24pm
post #19 of 35

The book I have seems to be originally published in England, the techniques are shown on a fruit cake, I noticed other posts here saying it can be done on a mud cake. I would guess anything that is dense and won't dry out quickly might work.

jocakes Posted 2 Jan 2009 , 12:10am
post #20 of 35

Fruit cake is very much the usual usually made months in advance and fed with alcohol (brandy or sherry) to preserve it and keep it moist. But you're right any dense cake should work

brincess_b Posted 2 Jan 2009 , 11:16am
post #21 of 35

ive put marzipan on sponge, it worked just fine.

janebrophy Posted 2 Jan 2009 , 3:15pm
post #22 of 35

Thanks again!

Brincess_b - do you happen to have a sponge recipe that you would reccomend? I've never made one - only heard about them on TV! LOL! I've been looking at recipes for Victorian Sponge, I'm totally out of my element on this, but am going to follow it thru somehow!

brincess_b Posted 2 Jan 2009 , 6:02pm
post #23 of 35

i did this mix, a victoria sponge, for two 7 inch round pans.
8oz butter
8oz sugar
8oz self raising flour
4 eggs, beaten
vanilla extract (i usually just use a couple of drops, i dont like too much)
cream the butter and sugar, and add in the eggs a bit at a time (can also add in some flour if it looks like its curdeling), mix well, and add in the vanilla and flour. bake for about 20 minutes at gas mark 4, a skewer should come out clean, it will spring back to your touch.
its really easy to flavour to anything else, take out 2oz flour and replace with cocoa, or add lemon/ orange zest/ or hot espresso coffee.

traditionally in would be done with jam and cream in the middle, but its a good sponge for anything! but if you are mazipanning, then maybe do it all in one, im not sure what you would fill a layer with! good luck icon_smile.gif

janebrophy Posted 2 Jan 2009 , 6:23pm
post #24 of 35

Thanks so much for that recipe! Everytime I hear of a "sponge" I can't help but think of Helen Mirren in Calendar Girls....LOL!
I'm excited to give this a try!

gales Posted 2 Jan 2009 , 6:43pm
post #25 of 35

hi Im from Britain, maybe I can help. The tradional way is to coat a fruit cake with a thin coat of boiled apricot jam as a kind of crumb coat and for something for the marzipan to stick to. The marzipan is sometimes called almond paste and is available commercially or you can make it from scratch. This is rolled out and applied like you would fondant. The royal icing can be mixed at this stage (it does contain glycerine) but the marzipan needs at least 24 hours before applying the royal icing. Before applying the royal icing the marzipan needs moistening with cool boiled water or a clear alcohol such as vodka (sterile liquid).Mixing the royal icing up early gives a chance for air bubbles to surface. Cakes used to have at least 3-6 coats of this over a period of days. We were taught sides in the morning, top late afternoon, next day sides in morning again, etc. first couple of coats the icing doesn't look smooth, but as you build the layers it magically becomes much smoother. It sets really hard but over a period of time. If we make cakes this way we usually begin them in November for Xmas. Hope this helps.

Rosiepan Posted 2 Jan 2009 , 9:52pm
post #26 of 35

''cream the butter and sugar, and add in the eggs a bit at a time (can also add in some flour if it looks like its curdeling), mix well, and add in the vanilla and flour. bake for about 20 minutes at gas mark 4''

I use much the same ingredients but add an extra ounce of flour for a more denser cake. I also have the eggs and marge/butter at room temperature, make sure all the utensils are room temperature too and bung it all in a mixer and whisk all together and cook at gas mark 3.These freeze well to and keep well when iced and is good for.
some people love the taste of marzipan and will have it on sponge cake too. gives a good smooth base for the icing whichever you use[/quote]

Rosiepan Posted 2 Jan 2009 , 10:05pm
post #27 of 35

I should have said is good for carving.

janebrophy Posted 2 Jan 2009 , 11:50pm
post #28 of 35

Holy cow this is a lot of info for someone who's never done this!! LOL! I have to go out tomorrow and buy the marzipan, they sell it here at the grocery store. I guess this will not be something I slap together overnight! I'm really excited to try the sponge! Nevermind the royal icing!

FullHouse Posted 3 Jan 2009 , 12:16am
post #29 of 35

I've heard about the RI before but never done used this technique, when my friend gave me that book for Christmas it looked so pretty that I want to try it when I get a chance. Please let me know how it turned out for you.

janebrophy Posted 3 Jan 2009 , 12:30am
post #30 of 35

I definitely will NCmomof3boys - just give me a few days LOL! I have 3 boys too, and man, oh man, they sure do know how to suck up my time! icon_smile.gif

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