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Thursday, 9 April 2009

Easter Simnel Cake


A traditional Simnel cake has a seam of marzipan baked through the middle of the cake and the top is traditionally adorned with a circle of marzipan, 11 balls of marzipan placed around the edge (omitting 1 for Judas) to represent the disciples of Jesus. You will find different recipes that have been handed down through generations as to which part of Britain one lives.


My Simnel cake this year is not quite one hundred percent traditional as opposed to my other ‘Simnel cake’. This year’s cake comes from a book I purchased last year and I have had this recipe bookmarked since then. The book in question is called ‘Cakes Galore by Valerie Barrett’, which has many gorgeous mouth-watering cakes to recreate, i.e. Red Velvet Cake, Choco-malt Cake, (the one that has Maltese’s adorned around the top of the cake) to mention but a few.







I am entering this cake into an Easter Cake Bake Round 3 event being hosted by the lovely Julia over @ A Slice of Cherry Pie. This is the third year running Julia has hosted this great event, last year I sadly missed it by the skin of my teeth and vowed I would ensure I entered this year.



Easter Cake

Makes 12-14 slices

Ingredients
500g (1lb 2oz) luxury dried fruit
2tbsp Amaretto
175g (6 oz) softened butter
175g (6 oz) soft light brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
200g (7 oz) self-raising flour
2 tsp ground mixed spice
50g (2 oz) ground almonds
500g (1lb 2oz) ready-made natural almond paste or marzipan
225g (8 oz) ready-made yellow almond paste or marzipan
1-2 tbsp warmed apricot jam
To Decorate
Coloured ribbon
Sugar-coated chocolate eggs

You will also need: a deep 18cm (7 in) round cake tin, greased and lined with greaseproof paper or non-stick baking paper

Method

Put the mixed fruit in a bowl and sprinkle over the Amaretto. Leave to soak for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 150°C/fan 130°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Beat in the eggs and lemon zest. Fold in the flour, mixed spice and ground almonds, then add the dried fruit mixture and mix well. Set aside. Roll out half of the natural almond paste or marzipan on a sheet of non-stick baking paper to form an 18cm (7 in) circle. Spoon half of the cake mixture into the base of the prepared tin, spreading it evenly. Place the almond paste on top. Spoon over the remaining cake mixture, then level the surface. Bake in the oven for 2-2½ hours, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire to cool.

Roll out the remaining natural almond paste and all but 50g (2 oz) of the yellow paste to form two 18cm (7 in) circles and place the yellow one on top of the natural one. Shape 8 balls from the remaining yellow paste. Lightly brush the top of the cake with warmed apricot jam, leaving a small circle in the centre uncoated. Place the almond circle, yellow side up, on top of the cake and trim the edges. Using a glass, lightly mark a circle in the centre of the cake. Using a sharp knife, cut through both almond-paste layers up to the edges of the circle to make 8 segments. Lift up the pointed end of each segment and peel it back to reveal the natural almond paste underside. Press it gently into the edges of the cake. Place a yellow almond paste ball on top. Tie a ribbon around the cake and fill the centre with sugar-coated chocolate eggs.

Lastly, sit back in wonder of the splendid cake you have created and have an “egg-cellent” slice of Easter cake!


49 comments:

C said...

Rosie, that looks so pretty - perfect for an Easter celebration. I love the generous pile of eggs in the middle too! No fighting for the chocolate eggs at your house!

sowmya said...

cake looks lovely...happy Easter Rosie

Dani said...

outdoing yourself again I see ...... yummy! :)

Elyse said...

I've never had a Simnel Cake before, but it sounds delicious. Not only that, but it's just gorgeous! I love the idea of a layer of marzipan in the middle. Yum!!

Illona said...

Happy Easter Rosie. All the Easter cakes and cookies look fantastic. Now my turn to bow down to you! They all look super and no doubt they taste just as great.

Sara said...

What a beautiful cake. Are those cadbury eggs on top?

Ann said...

This is a unique cake to me Rosie..looks real yummy and decorations make it even brighter..that traditional part make me go for this !!
thank you
Enjoy your Easter !!

Katiecakes said...

Your cake looks fab Rosie :)

I was planning on making a Simnel cake for Easter desert today. :D

Katie xox

Mary said...

How sweet, happy easter!

Rhyleysgranny said...

Such a beautiful cake, You made a wonderful job of it. Happy Easter

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That's a cake I love! Yours looks so pretty and perfect! Wow!

Cheers,

Rosa

The Blonde Duck said...

That cake is the sweetest thing I've ever seen. I love that little chick and duckie!

A_and_N said...

the decoration on the cake looks so professional! Superb job Rosie...hats off!!

Kevin said...

That cake looks really good!

Tracey said...

Looks absolutely delicious, Rosie! My Gran made Simnel cake occasionally as I love marzipan. I have yet to try making it myself though!

dabrah said...

What a gorgeous looking cake. It looks delicious (I love marzipan). Have a happy Easter.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Looks and sounds beautiful! I like the sound of adding Amaretto. Love marzipan and almonds so I know I'd love this. Have a great Easter. x

Desmone007 said...

Hi Rosie, I just came across your blog and I must say, I'm impressed. You sure have a lot of good recipes and judging from the photos you are good at what you do! I'd like to direct Foodista readers to your blog using our small embeddable widgets. Check them out here and let me know what you think.

Dhanya Nambirajan said...

Cake looks so beautiful.

Ingrid said...

Everything you make always looks wonderful!

Happy Easter!
~ingrid

Nicisme said...

So beautiful, a Happy Easter to you Rosie!

alskamom said...

Your cake looks absolutely fantastic, Rosie!! You did a wonderful job!!

Happy Easter to you and your family!!

Nickki said...

Beautiful cake! I think you are such a wonderful baker! That cakes galore book is brilliant, so many lovely cakes. Happy Easter :) x

Half Baked said...

That cake is adorable! I gave you an award on my blog:)

Tracey said...

Hi! Just to wish you a Happy Easter, Rosie!

Junglefrog said...

Happy Easter Rosie! That looks like a delicious Easter cake! I love marzipan too so this would just perfect. My cake is actually in the oven as we speak, so not really on time before easter but it's gonna be fresh for sure...:)

Aparna said...

It may not be traditional but your cake looks very beautiful, Rosie.

Happy Easter.

Donna said...

How beautiful!! Happy Easter Sweetie!hughugs

Jacque said...

Happy Easter! Your cake looks wonderful. Good luck :)

Snooky doodle said...

wow what a nice cake. I ve always wanted to try making a Simnel cake . It looks awesome :)

Maria said...

What a beautiful cake Rosie! Love the marzipan and the colors are so great for Spring! Happy Easter!

Bridgett said...

Rosie, I hope you are feeling much better these days. You always have such lovely treats. This one is particularly darling. Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

AppleC said...

Perfect! I've never heard of a "Simnel" cake.

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Rosie,
That is beautiful cake!! :)
I also used sugar coated eggs to top my chocolate cake ;))))
Have a nice evening,
Margot

Bunny said...

This is so pretty Rose. I've never heard of this cake before.

Margaret said...

Great cake Rosie!

Maria said...

What a fun cake! Hope you had a nice Easter!

Katie said...

Looks wonderful. The gooey layer of marzipan in the middle is the best bit. Love how you decorated it. Happy Easter.

Arfi Binsted said...

I think you've made a pretty cake there. Lovely to think of eating the cake and then peel the eggs afterwards... Fun for the kids as well as the adults.

Hornsfan said...

So pretty and festive - Rosie this is a shoe-in for the contest :)

Sanghi said...

Gorgeous cake Rosie..! Its been long time since i came here, sorry dear! Do check my first event roundup at my blog and gv ur suggestions..!:)

♥Rosie♥ said...

WOW - have I ever told you just how amazing you all are??!! I just popped on my P.C. quickly to post my next post and such a wonderful greeting waiting for me from you all!! I have family calling in and other family members staying for a few days, so as soon as I’m able I will be calling by your blogs :0)

As always my very best wishes to you all – Rosie xoxox

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