For finishing off the black cake, Colwin takes a simple route with plain white icing. Nigella recommends a layer of marzipan, then a layer of roll-out white icing, then little holly leaves made with the same white icing and a vein stamper and everything. As much as I would like to go the Nigella route, roll-out icing is not easy to come by in these parts (especially when you are unwilling to go fight the traffic on Christmas Eve) and neither are holly leaf stamping kits. So, I compromised. I did the marzipan, because, hello! it's MARZIPAN. I love marzipan. Then I used Duncan Hines vanilla icing to cover the cake, then I painted on a few holly leaves with cake gel. Ta-da! Christmas dinner dessert.
Part IV was the eating, and that is still going on. It's about half gone and I have guests coming for M'hijo's birthday dinner tonight, so possibly a few more pieces will get gone. People liked it, but they weren't over the moon with joy. It's as I expected: after a big Christmas meal, new, complex flavours are not really the thing. Even I wasn't mad about it at the time. But yesterday, when I had a piece with coffee, and then another, later on, just on its own, oh my goodness, I loved it! It was so moist and so interesting. The marzipan was great. The Duncan Hines icing was less good, but not too bad.
Anyway, I wouldn't mind making this again next year, but I think we'll have a nice Christmas walk post-turkey, to ready the palates for the black cake.