Posted by: aboutalbion | April 8, 2013

Simnel cake

Simnel cake

I don’t mind if I am a few days later than others in making my simnel cake … decorated with some small chocolate eggs that were in the house.

These are the directions that I followed …….

I lined a 20 cm/8 in round cake tin with baking parchment.

Marzipan preparation

450 g golden marzipan

With a little icing sugar on a surface, take one half of the marzipan, ‘work’ it so that it is soft, roll it out into a circle whose diameter is a little less than that of the cake tin, and then set aside.

Fruit preparation

100 g natural glace cherries, cut into quarters
225 g sultanas
100 g currents
50 g chopped candied peel
zest of 2 lemons

Mix the fruit in a bowl and set aside.

Cake batter preparation

225 g butter, softened
225 g dark brown soft sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
225 g self-raising flour
2t ground mixed spice

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and light.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, possibly adding a spoonful of flour with the last two eggs (to prevent curdling).  Sift in the flour and mixed spice a little at a time, and mix well.  Stir in the content of the fruit bowl until thoroughly mixed.

Transfer half of the cake batter into the lined cake tin, and level the surface.  Place the marzipan circle on top of the cake mixture.  Transfer the remaining cake mixture on top of the marzipan, and level the surface again.

Cover and bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven [GM2 / 150C / 300F] for 2 hours.  Lower the temperature to GM1 / 140C / 275F and bake for between a further 1 and 2 hours until firm to touch.

After cooling in the tin for about ten minutes, turn the cake out (upside down if there is any hint of a collapsed centre) on to a wire rack to finish cooling.

For the topping

2T apricot jam
remaining half of the marzipan
12 small chocolate eggs

Warm the apricot jam in a small saucepan (when the cake is cool) and brush it over the top of the cake.  With a little icing sugar on a surface, ‘work’ the remaining marzipan so that it is soft, and then roll it out into a circle whose diameter is the same as that of the cake.  Fit the marzipan over the cake, and press it down.  For decoration, impress the twelve eggs (at an even spacing) into the soft marzipan to secure them in position.  Enjoy …….


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