Procure a nice, well-baked cake from a first-rate shop, it is seldom
advisable to attempt to make such a thing at home, as the baking of a large cake
in an ordinary small oven is seldom satisfactory, and often results in utter
failure. For about four shillings a very satisfactory article can be obtained.
The finishing of the cake should certainly be carried out at home, as the
process is both simple and interesting, besides which any little fancies of
either donor or receiver can be attended to. Sugar icing cannot be taught except
practically, and is really a waste of time and money, as few people eat it, but
if the cake is finished as directed it will be found a general favorite.
Make some almond
icing and place it on the cake. It should be about two inches deep, deeper
if liked; smooth it over carefully and be sure that the sides are even. Have
ready some almonds and pistachio nuts, blanche and cut in halves, and arrange
these in rows on the icing, pressing them well down when they will adhere
to the almond mixture. Place the cake in a warm, dry place for about twenty-four
hours, when the icing should be firm; it is ready for use at once, or can be
kept for some time. The sides of the cake can be left plain or decorated with a
fine paper frill tied on by a white satin ribbon. Dried fruits, cut into fancy
shapes, or small bonbons may be used to decorate the almond icing instead of the
nuts, but the latter are best for packing.