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If a soft, not brittle, icing is preferred add 2 teaspoons of glycerine.

2 egg whites
1 lb. confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. glycerin (optional)

Put the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and beat until light and frothy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar gradually until all is incorporated and the icing is stiff enough to stand in peaks. Beat well to remove any lumps. Beat in the lemon juice and glycerin if used. Use immediately, or cover the bowl with a damp cloth.

To rough ice, put the prepared icing on top of the cake placed on a cake board. Work with a palette knife over the top of the cake, using a to-and-fro motion. Gradually work the icing down the sides of the cake until entirely covered. Using the tip of the palette knife, quickly rough up the surface of the icing with short, sharp movements. This will create a traditional snow effect that can be decorated with ornaments.

To flat ice, put three-quarters of the prepared icing on top of the cake (cover remaining icing as above) place on a cake board. Work with a steel ruler or palette knife over the top of the cake using a to-and-fro motion. continue with this motion, smoothing out the icing and breaking any air bubbles that appear on the surface.

When quite smooth, draw the ruler or palette knife in one movement across the top of the cake, making the surface completely smooth. Scrape off any icing from the sides, returning to the mixing bowl and keep covered. Leave the cake until the icing on the top is set before icing the sides with the reserve icing in the same way smoothing around the cake with the steel ruler or palette knife and making the joins as smooth as possible.

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