Put the eggs and sugars into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of hot water. Whisk until thick and creamy. Remove the bowl from the heat and add a few drops of almond essence. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the ground almonds then lightly knead into a ball. The marzipan will firm up slightly as it cools, but if you feel it is still too soft, add a little mroe icing sugar.
STORAGE: Ideally this should be used as soon as possible but if you have to store it for a day or so, double-wrap it in a small plastic bag or cling film and keep in the refrigerator. Use within a week.
TIP: If teh marzipan is hard to knead, microwave it for 10 seconds. Test it and repeat if necessary. Don't overdo it as the oils in the centre can burn.
Place the cake in position on the board. If the top is slightly domed, slice this off and place the cake upside down on the board. Plug any holes left by currants with small balls of marzipan. If you want to, drizzle a little brandy over the top of the cake and allow to sink in. Heat some apricot jam and brush over the top and sides of the cake. Knead the marzipan. Dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll it out.
Carefully lift the marzipan and place on the cake. Ease it over the top and sides of the cake and gently press into position. Trim away the excess from around the base.
Smooth over the top and sides with the flat of your hand or ideally, use a cake smoother.
COVERING THE CAKE: To ensure you have the correct size piece of marzipan, take a string and measure the cake from the board, up one side, along the top and down to the board again. This is the diameter.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFT OVER MARZIPAN: Roll out the marzipan, with cookie cutters, cut out shapes and set aside. Melt chocolate and dip or cover the marzipan with the chocolate and place on wax paper to harden. Place in a box, decorate with ribbon and give to someone special...
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