To all baking goddesses out there, here is my version of a very classic English Easter treat – the Simnel Cake.
I have to be honest I found the pronunciation of this cake quite challenging. For some reason my ‘s’ sound is always too long and people never quite understand what I’m talking about! Go figure!
However, I wanted to rise to the challenge of baking a more traditional, well we can say it, old-fashioned cake with a pretty as a picture topping! Its a little bit more fiddly but the end result is well worth it!
Remember, patience is a virtue and for sure you can be a patience virtuoso at Easter. Our goal is to impress family and friends with an amazing looking cake with a fruity, zesty, almondy taste! Have a wonderful time!
Simnel Cake With Marzipan
Important – The oven temperature MUST be 150°C for this cake – any higher and the cake will burn.
Ingredients For Simnel Cake:
- 500g golden marzipan, cut in a half, 250g set aside then cubed the other 250g and dust them with a pinch of flour.
- 300g flour sifted with 3 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 organic eggs
- 200g soft brown sugar
- 250g butter melted
- 100g chopped pecan nuts roasted for 15 minutes in the oven
- 600g mixed dried fruit marinated for ½ hour with 6 tablespoon of liquor and 2 tablespoon of orange juice
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon of mixed spices
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 teaspoon almond essence
- 8 pieces of candied ginger from a jar coarsely chopped + 1 tablespoon of the juice
- 250g ready to roll icing
- 2 tablespoon jam
- 1 egg gently beaten with a tablespoon of cream
Instructions For Simnel Cake:
- Preheat the oven.
- Lightly butter a 23cm (9 inch) spring-form cake tin and line the base and the side with baking paper.
- With an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until nice and creamy then add 1 egg at the time at the mixture.
- Add the sifted flour and baking powder.
- Then add the dried fruit, citrus zest, pecan, mixed spices, floured cubed marzipan, vanilla and almond essence, candied ginger and juice. Mix all together with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Using a rubber spatula, spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, levelling the surface with the back of the spatula.
- Place the cake in the oven and bake for 1¾-2¼ hours at the lower temperature of 150°C
- Start to check the cake after 1½ hours – the cake is cooked when the centre feels springy when lightly pressed.
- When it is cooked, leave it in the tin for 30 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack to cool or it might crumble.
- For the cake decoration, roll out the icing on a surface gently dusted with icing suagr to avoid sticking.
- The icing must cover the top of the cake so use a same size bottom tin as guideline.
- Then brush the top of the cake with a tablespoon of jam and fit the icing on the top pressing it down all round with a rolling pin to level it as much as possible. Trim off any overhanging pieces.
- Roll out the reserved marzipan on a surface dusted with icing sugar to a rectangle about 25 x 15 cm, then cut it into 12 long strips about 1 cm wide for the lattice topping.
- When assembling the lattice on top, snip off any overhanging marzipan with scissors making sure that you have pressed the edges down well.
- Brush the egg and cream mixture on the cake and put under the grill at 150° for a few minutes, watching very carefully to ensure that it doesn’t burn but finish off with a nice toasted brown colour.
- This last bit is all about timing and gently turning the cake to ensure an even colour result.
Enjoy your Easter with this Marzipan Simnel Cake!