Good Morning and welcome…as you know I love to cook mainly savoury dishes and the occasional dessert but a baker I am not although in a past life I have made a wedding cake and numerous novelty birthday cakes for my kids and even took a course in how to ice cakes at one point and make these lovely flooded decorations…pretty ladies and flowers…but that is all in the past…
I am however very pleased with my Simnel cake…Pretty basic with decoration but a traditional Simnel cake is just that…it has 11 marzipan balls that depict the disciples…a layer of marzipan through the centre of the cake and a marzipan top which is fluted around the edges and then the marzipan is toasted…A bit of ribbon and a bow and that’s that…
Firstly I made the marzipan...which is so very easy I am asking why I have not made it before…
- 3 cups of ground Almonds
- 2 cups of powdered sugar(icing sugar)
- 1 tsp almond essence
- 1 tsp Rosewater
- 1-3 tsp water
Depending on the humidity in your kitchen and the weather you might need to add less or more water to get the desired consistency… add the water a tsp at a time the marzipan will be crumbly it just needs to be kneaded to make it smooth.
It comes together quite easily I was surprised… be sparing with your water as you don’t want sticky marzipan.
I made mine in my food processor and with it running added the almond essence, rosewater and water to the ground almonds and icing sugar…as it comes together add water a tsp at a time then knead the mix until smooth it will stiffen up a little …keep in the fridge until required…
- 100 gm glace cherries( I used apricots)
- 500 gm mixed dried fruit
- 175 gm unsalted butter
- 175 gm caster sugar
- The zest of a lime(lemon)
- 225 gm plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 25 gm ground almonds
- 3 large eggs(room temp)
- 2 tbsp milk
- 400 gm of marzipan
Oven 165C/325F … 8″ round tin greased and floured…I also wrapped my tin in some brown paper around the outside…my oven runs hot and has a bottom element as do all Thai ovens…so often I double tin…my dream is to have a proper oven…but I improvise and most of the time it works…
Cream the butter and the sugar until light in colour, add the lime zest..lemon is fine it’s just I use limes as they are more readily available here.
In another bowl add the flour, ground almonds, spices and baking powder stir to combine.
To the creamed fat and sugar add 1 egg plus 2 tbsp of the flour mixture, repeat until the eggs are used then add the remainder of the flour with the milk and stir to combine.
Fold in the fruit mixing well to combine.
Rollout an 8-inch circle of the marzipan.
Put half the cake mix into the prepared tin and then add the marzipan circle then top with the remainder of the cake mixture.
Put the cake into a preheated oven and cook for 1 and half hours or until the cake is cooked. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins and then remove to a cooling rack.
Allow cake to cool before decorating…I decorated mine the next day…As I was adding the balls I made another batch of marzipan.
To decorate the cake I rolled out a round of marzipan for the top of the cake I warmed some marmalade but apricot jam would suffice to brush the top of the cake so the marzipan would stay put I then just pressed my fingers to make pretty flutes added the balls and for the first time weighed my marzipan to ensure my balls were all the same size placed them around the edges and then toasted the top of the cake with a blow torch…I confess my son got that job…
I then added a pretty bow but if you can get Easter chicks or some tiny eggs they would look lovely in the centre.
I hope you enjoy the recipe for this classic Simnel Cake whose history dates back to medieval times…Topped with 11 balls and sometimes a larger ball in the middle to depict Christ it is a lighter cake from the Christmas cake and doesn’t contain alcohol…Originally made for Mothering Sunday which fell in the middle of Lent it was a welcome respite from the 40 days of fasting…as the years have passed to is now generally seen as an Easter Cake a very nice Easter cake if you like marzipan…
Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week and don’t forget I do love to chat if you want to leave a comment xx