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Ingredients:

12 oz (350g) ground almonds

6 oz (175g) caster sugar

6 oz (175g) icing sugar

1 large egg or 2-3 yolks

few drops of almond flavoring

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These ingredients are sufficient to cover a 20 cm/ 8 inch round or 18 cm/ 7 inch square cake.  Follow the chart for other sizes and adjust recipe quantities accordingly:

Square                Round               Almond paste (or marzipan)

12.5 cm/ 5 in     15 cm/ 6 in       350g/ 12 oz

15 cm/ 6 in        18 cm/ 7 in       550g/ 1 lb 4 oz

18 cm/ 7 in        20 cm/ 8 in       675g/ 1.5 lb

20 cm/ 8 in        23 cm/ 9 in       675g/ 1.5 lb

23 cm/ 9 in        25 cm/ 10 in     900g/ 2 lb

25 cm/ 10 in      28 cm/ 11 in     1 kg/ 2 lb

28 cm/ 11 in      30 cm/ 12in      1.125 kg/ 2.5 lb

30 cm/ 12in                                  1.5 kg/ 3 lb

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3.    Prepare the cake by leveling the top if necessary.  To enable the paste to stick to the cake, beat 1 egg white with 2 tsp brandy.  Brush over the top and sides of cake.  Alternatively, brush the cake with warm, sieved apricot jam.

4.    Dust work surface with icing sugar, roll half the paste 2.5 cm/ 1 inch larger than the top of cake.  Place the cake upside down on the paste.  Using a small palette knife, draw up the edge of the paste, flattening against each side of the cake.  Trim off any surplus and smooth evenly. (This method gives a very smooth top, but for large cakes 25-30 cm/10-12 inches, it’s easier to lift the almond paste onto the top of cake.  Roll lightly with rolling pin and trim sides.  Place cake on cake board.)

5.    Cut 2 pieces of string or thread, one the exact circumference of the cake, the other the exact height.  Cut the remaining paste in half, work into 2 sausage shapes and roll each into an oblong.  Trim to the height and half the circumference of the cake using the string as a guide.

6.    Carefully wrap each piece around the cake, pressing firmly onto the side.  Smooth top and side joins together with a knife.  For a square cake, cut 4 oblongs the exact length and height of each side,, smooth the joins with knife and press lightly to give neat corners.  Leave for 24 hours to dry.

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