Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter cake

Happy Easter! Below is a lovely recipe for making this lovely Simnel Cake. The marzipan is my favourite bit of this cake!

For the cake175g/6oz light muscavado sugar175g/6oz butter, softened175g/6oz self-raising flour3 large free-range eggs25g/1oz ground almonds2 tbsp milk110g/4oz sultanas110g/4oz cherries, quartered, washed, and dried 110g/4oz dried apricots, snipped into small pieces 110g/4oz stem ginger, finely chopped1 tsp mixed spice2 tsp ground ginger150g/5oz golden marzipan For the topping300g/10½oz golden marzipan 3 tbsp apricot jam, warmed1 free-range egg, beaten
1. Preheat the oven 160C/320F/Gas 3.2. Grease and line the base and sides of an 20cm/8in round, deep cake tin with baking parchment.3. Place all of the cake ingredients, except the marzipan, into a large mixing bowl and stir well until thoroughly combined.4. Place half of the cake mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.5. Roll out the marzipan into a circle the same size as the cake tin. Place the circle on top of the cake mixture.6. Spoon the remaining cake mixture over the marzipan layer and level the surface.7. Place the cake into the oven and bake for 1¾-2 hours, or until golden brown and firm in the middle. (Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is done.) If toward the end of the cooking time the surface of the cake is getting too brown, cover loosely with a piece of kitchen foil to protect it from the heat.8. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before turning out onto a cooling rack.9. For the topping, when the cake has cooled, brush the top with a little warmed apricot jam.10. Roll out half of the marzipan into a circle the same size as the cake and place over the top of the cake. 11. Crimp the edges of the marzipan with your fingers and, using a sharp knife, score a lattice pattern across the centre of the marzipan topping. 12. Using the remaining marzipan, form 11 equal-sized balls. Arrange the marzipan balls at equal intervals around the edge of the top of the cake.13. Brush the marzipan balls and topping with beaten egg and place under the grill on its highest setting. Grill for 4-5 minutes, revolving the cake if necessary, to ensure it browns evenly, until the marzipan is a light golden-brown all over.
13. Serve and enjoy!
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