Easter Simnel Cake
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Easter Simnel Cake

This is a new spin on a traditional Easter dish.... it is baked with chunks of marzipan strewn through the cake which melt and meld into the fruit, after baking, the cake is topped off with the traditional marzipan decoration (eleven marzipan spheres to denote the eleven apostles minus Judas, the traitor) and toasted lightly in the oven. this dish is perfect for an Easter family gathering, and is also the PERFECT way to use up extra christmas mincemeat... adapted from Delia Smith's recipe.

Nirmala Prem

Ingredients

12-serving
  1. 100 Grams almonds whole blanched
  2. 500 Grams marzipan golden
  3. 225 Grams all purpose flour
  4. 3 Teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 Teaspoon mixed spice
  6. 150 Grams brown sugar soft light
  7. 150 Grams butter , softened
  8. 2 Tablespoons milk whole
  9. 3 eggs large , beaten
  10. 1 egg yolk , beaten
  11. 411 Grams christmas mince
  12. 350 Grams dried fruit mixed
  13. 50 Grams whole candied peel
  14. 1 orange , zested
  15. 1 lemon , zested
  16. 1 Tablespoon currant red jelly

Method

240 mins
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    Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C, to toast the almonds. spread them out on a baking sheet and toast them for exactly 8 to 10 minutes. remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 150 degrees C. when almonds are cooled to room temp, chop them coarsely.

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    Unwrap the marzipan, cut the block into two equal halves and re-wrap one half for later use. chop the remaining half into 1/2 inch cubes. toss them in 1 tablespoon of the flour and set aside.

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    In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and spice. then place all the remaining ingredients, except the remaining marzipan, egg yolk and red currant jelly, into the bowl and mix well (using either an electric mixer or a wooden spoon) till the batter is evenly distributed.

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    Finally, gently fold in the marzipan cubes and any excess flour.

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    Spoon the mixture into a prepared 8 inch cake tin, leveling the surface with the back of a spatula. place a suitably sized square of double greaseproof paper with a hole the size of a 50p piece in the center over the top.

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    Place the cake in the center of the oven and bake for two and three-quaters to three and a quarter hours at 150 degrees C. the cake is cooked when the center feels springy when lightly pressed.

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    Cool the cake in the tin for 30 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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    To decorate the cake, unwrap the remaining marzipan and divide into two halves. roll out one half into a 9 inch circle. brush the top of the cake with the red currant jelly (or raspberry jam) and place the circle of marzipan concentrically over the cake.

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    Trim the excess overhangs, or make a decorative fluted pattern as shown in the pics.

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    Divide the final portion of marzipan into eleven and shape into spheres. place them equidistant from each other along the circumference of the cake top.

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    Brush the marzipan with the egg yolk, and place under a preheated grill (which has been heating for a good 10 minutes so it is at full blast) for about 30 to 40 seconds. the marzipan should turn a light, toasted brown color.

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    Remove from the oven, and serve.

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