Sunday Recipe: Simnel Cake

One of my favourite Easter treats is a Simnel cake as it combines two of my favourite things, a "sort of" fruit cake and marzipan which I could eat by the slice!

The Simnel Cake signifies the end of Lent which is a period of fasting and repentance culminating in a feast of seasonal and symbolic foods. The Simnel Cake recipe is rich with fruits, spices and marzipan, all forbidden during the period of Lent.

To make this cake you will need:
  • 1 ¼ lbs/ 560g ready made marzipan
  • 1 lb/ 450g dried mixed fruits (currants, raisins, sultanas, glace cherries)
  • 3 oz/80g candied chopped peel
  • 8 oz/ 225g all purpose/plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 oz/ 175g butter
  • 6 oz /175g fine/caster sugar
And this is what you have to do:
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F/170°C/Gas 3,
  • Line a 7 inch cake tin with parchment or greaseproof paper.
  • Divide the marzipan into three and take one portion and roll it to a round the size of the cake tin.
  • In a large roomy baking bowl mix the mixed dried fruits, peel with the flour, salt and spices.
  • In another large bowl cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg to the butter mixture a little bit at a time, beating well after each addition - do not try to rush this process as the mixture could curdle. If it does curdle simply add a tbsp of the flour and mix again, this should bring the mixture back together.
  • Carefully fold in half the flour and half the fruit into the egg and butter mixture, once incorporated repeat with the remaining flour and fruit.
  • Put half of the cake mixture into the tin, smooth and cover with the round of almond paste. Put the remaining cake mixture into the tin and smooth the surface carefully. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour.
  • Lower the heat to 300°F/150°C/Gas 2 and bake for 3 hours until the cake is golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  • Roll another third of almond paste, again to the size of the tin. Make the remaining almond paste equally into 11 tiny balls.
  • Once the cake is completely cool, remove from the tin and brush the top of the cake with apricot jam and cover with the disc of almond paste. Place the 11 tiny balls of paste evenly around the edge. Brush the paste all over with a little apricot jam and place under a hot grill until lightly browned.
  • The cake can then be decorated as you wish with tiny Easter eggs or any other Easter theme.

Sunday, 24 April 2011 | 0 Comments

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