Sit the cake on a large board or flat
serving plate. Brush a little of the jam
over the cake. Dust a clean surface
with a little icing sugar, then roll out the
marzipan until big enough to cover the
cake (use string to help you measure).
Carefully lift the marzipan onto the cake,
pat down to cover smoothly and trim
any excess off the bottom. Brush all
over again with more jam.
Knead 1kg white icing until smooth,
then roll out on an icing sugar-dusted
surface until a little bigger than the
marzipan size. Carefully lift onto the cake,
partially pat down the sides to smooth
and stick, allow the rest to stick in folds,
or tease into shape with your fingers (step
A). Trim any ragged edges.
For the robins, roll 3 walnut-size balls
from some of the remaining white icing.
Halve the icing that is left. Knead brown
colouring into 1 half to give a rich colour,
wrap well – this will be the branch. Divide
the other half into 3 pieces, and colour 1
red, 1 pale brown and 1 green.
Re-dust the work surface, pinch off
3 marble-size balls of red icing and roll
each into a teardrop shape for the breast.
Use a cocktail stick to add texture, then
stick 1 onto each robin – brush a little
water onto the icing to help it stick.
As you stick it, flatten the base of the ball
slightly so that the robins stand up.
Divide the pale brown icing into 3 balls
and roll each into an oval shape, then
pinch 1 end of each into a gentle point
(step B). Stick onto the robins so that the
point is the head, and trim the tail if you
need to. Poke a clove into each brown tip
to make a little beak. Pull the round bit
off the end of 6 cloves to leave spiky
ends, and poke into robins to make feet.
Use black writing icing to add eyes (step C).
Roll most of the dark brown icing into
a long branch and attach to the cake
with a little more water or jam. Roll
smaller branches from the remaining
dark brown icing. Pinch leaves from
the green icing and attach. Add the
robins and enjoy.