1 x 18cm square or 20cm round Christmas cake (see 'Goes well with', below)
a few fresh cranberries
1 egg white, frothed with a fork
3 tbsp white caster sugar
3 tbsp apricot or raspberry jam, warmed and sieved
500g pack fondant icing sugar, sifted
small bunch sage
small bunch bay leaves
Dip the cranberries in the egg white, then roll in caster sugar a few times until well coated. Leave to set (or use glace cherries instead, even easier and no need to frost with egg white). Brush just the top of the cake with a little jam. Roll out the marzipan to slightly larger than the top of the cake, lay on top of the cake, press down and trim flush to the edges of the cake.
Mix a dribble of water at a time into the fondant icing sugar, until it’s a smooth, stiff consistency that won’t run. Pile on the top of the cake. Push to the edges with a palette knife so it eases down the sides a little. Make a wreath from the sage and bay, then add a few of the frosted cranberries (or glace cherries if using instead).