Simnel Cake

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Simnel Cake

Ingredients

For the marzipan decoration

225g icing sugar

175g caster sugar

350g ground almonds

2 large eggs

½ tsp almond extract

1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp apricot jam

For the fruit cake

1 well-scrubbed orange, freshly squeezed juice and finely grated zest

1 unwaxed lemon, freshly squeezed juice and finely grated zest

500g mixed dried fruit

100g glacé cherries, halved

225g self-raising flour

2 tsp ground mixed spice

3 large eggs

175g butter

175g light muscovado sugar

Method

Marzipan -

Stir together the caster sugar and almonds, sift in the icing sugar.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs with the almond extract and lemon juice. Once well beaten mix into the dry mixture. Mix until stiff but workable.

Knead the marzipan until smooth and return to the bowl and cover. Allow the marzipan to stand for around two hours before using.

Cake –

Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C (fan)/Gas 3.

Simmer the orange and lemon juice over a low heat for two minutes adding the dried fruit and cherries and stirring continually until the liquid has disappeared.

Remove from the heat and please mixture on a plate to cool.

Line a 20cm/8in loose-based deep round cake tin.

Mix the flour and mixed spice in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs together in another bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, slowly add the beaten eggs.

Add all the flour mixture and slowly beat. Gradually stir in the dried fruit and orange and lemon zest.

Spoon just half of the mixture into cake tin. Place the rest of the cake batter aside for the moment.

Divide the marzipan into three equal balls. Take one of the balls and roll out on parchment paper into a circle around 5mm thick and about 2cm larger than the cake tin. Place the cake tin on top of the rolled marzipan and use it as a template to cut out a circle around 1cm larger than the tin.

Rest the marzipan on top of the cake mixture in the tin.

Spoon the remaining cake mixture into the tin.

Bake the cake for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the cake.

When cooked, remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing from the tin and leaving on a wire rack to cool fully.

Place the cooled cake on a baking tray ready for decorating.

Heat the apricot jam in a small non-stick saucepan for one minute stirring constantly. 

Take one of the marzipan balls and roll out on parchment paper into a circle around 5mm thick and just a little larger than the cake tin. Place the cake tin on top of the rolled marzipan and use it as a template to cut out a circle the same size as the tin.

Brush the surface of the cake with the warm jam and cover with the marzipan circle.

Form the remaining marzipan into 11 fairly small balls. Dab one side of each ball with a little of the jam and place around the edge of the cake.

Place the cake under a preheated hot grill, around 15-20cm from the element – for 2-3 minutes. Leave to cool.

Cut into slices to serve.

Products Used 

Colourworks Medium Blue Melamine Two Tone Mixing Bowl

Master Class 31cm Aerating Ball Whisk

Master Class Non-Stick Heavy Duty 18cm Saucepan

Master Class Non-Stick 20cm Loose Base Spring Form Cake Pan

Sweetly Does It Silicone Paper Baking Roll

Sweetly Does It Stainless Steel Cake Tester

Master Class Non-Stick 46cm x 26cm Cooling Tray

Master Class Non-Stick 35cm x 25cm Baking Tray