With Easter coming up just around the corner, and with it numerous family gatherings, good times and plenty of eating, I thought it would be a great time to break out a classic Easter cake recipe for you, so in this post we’re going to look at making a Simnel Easter cake.
Simnel is a multi-layered fruit-cake with a marzipan topping that contains almond paste and is decorated with marzipan balls. Dating all the way back to Medieval times, if a recipe for Easter cake has lasted for centuries then I’m convinced it has something going for it;)
For those of you that treat Easter as a time of worship, this Simnel cake recipe also has symbolic decorations relating to Jesus & his desciples, while for those of you that celebrate Easter in a secular way, you’ll be able to appreciate the multi-layered deliciousness of this cake.
If you have the family coming over for an Easter dinner, it can be stressful to try to cater for everyone, but I’m sure that this recipe will soften the heart of even the most hard-to-please relos!
Simnel Easter Cake Recipe
Prep Time: 30 mins, Cook Time: 2 hours Serves: 10 – 12:
To make the Almond Paste you’ll need:
250g caster sugar
250g ground almonds
2 free-range eggs, beaten
1 tsp almond essence
For the Easter Cake you’ll need:
175g butter or margarine
175g soft brown sugar
3 free-range eggs, beaten
175g plain flour
½ tsp ground mixed spice (optional)
350g mixed raisins, currants and sultanas
55g chopped mixed peel
½ lemon, grated zest only
1-2 tbsp apricot jam
1 free-range egg, beaten for glazing
To make the Almond Paste, place the sugar and ground-up almonds into a bowl. Add just enough of the beaten eggs and begin mixing to a fine consistency.
Add the almond essence and knead the mixture for one minute until you find that the paste is smooth and pliable.
Roll out 1/3rd of the Almond Paste and make a circle 18cm in diameter and save the remainder of the paste for the topping.
Preheat oven to 140c. Grease & line a 18cm cake tin.
For the cake, cream the butter and sugar together ’till they’re pale and fluffy. Begin to beat in the eggs until well-mixed and then sift in your flour, salt (and mixed spice if you’re adding it) a bit at a time. Lastly, add the mixed dried fruit, peeled & grated lemon zest and stir it in with the mixture.
Put 1/2 the mixture into a greased and lined 18cm cake tin. Smooth the top down and cover with the almond paste cirle. Add the remainder of the cake mixture and smooth the top down, remembering to leave a small dip in the centre so the cake is allowed to rise. Bake in a preheated oven for 1¾ hours. Test the Easter cake by inserting a skewer into the middle – if it comes out clean, it’s ready.
Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool down..
Brush the top of the cooled cake with the apricot jam. Divide the rest of the almond paste in half; roll it out a circle to cover the top of the cake with one half and make 11 small balls with the remainder.
Place the circle of paste on top of the jam glaze and lay the balls around the edge. Brush the cake topping with a bit of the beaten egg.
Preheat your grill to high. Place the Easter cake onto a baking tray and grill it for around 1-2 minutes, or until the top of the marzipan starts to brown.
Voila! Your Simnel Easter Cake is perfect, ready to serve and now all you have to do is enjoy the smiles and adulation of your happily munching family! Happy Easter:)
Dinner Style By: Guest
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