Friday 29 March 2013

Simple Simnel Cake Recipe

I know that it's Good Friday and this is supposed to be a day of abstinence, but some recipes have to be given in advance to give people a chance to make them if they so desire.

As the Easter weekend has begun, it's too late to bake a proper Simnel cake, but you could make this cheat's version and have it ready for Easter Sunday tea time. That's why I'm presenting the recipe today amongst the other recipes.

Of course, you do not have to make this for Easter as this version also makes a great weekend cake.

Simple Simnel Cake

Serves: 10
Loaf tin version of Simnel cake topped with nut praline. Easier and quicker to make than the traditional version for Easter


finely-grated zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange
1 tbsp Cointreau
175g (6 oz) mixed dried fruit
50g (2 oz) whole glacé cherries
100g (4 oz) soft butter, diced
100g (4 oz) golden caster sugar
175g (6 oz) self-raising flour
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
100g (4 oz) marzipan (rolled to just fit inside the width and length of your cake tin)

For the Caramel Almonds:

100g (4 oz) caster sugar
50g (2 oz) whole blanched toasted almonds

For the Icing:

125g (4 1/2 oz) icing sugar
finely-grated zest of 1 orange
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp fresh orange juice


Mix together the orange zest, orange juice, Cointreau, dried fruit and glacé cherries in a bowl. Set aside to macerate.

Combine the butter, sugar, flour, eggs and milk in a separate bowl and beat until smooth. Stir in the fruit and their liquid  then spoon half the batter into a greased and lined 900g (2 lb) loaf tin.

Sit the marzipan rectangle on top then spoon in the remaining cake batter. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 170ºC (325ºF, Gas Mark 3) and bake for about 50 minutes, or until nicely risen and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin.

For the caramel almonds, gently heat the sugar in a non-stick pan until it becomes a golden, liquid, caramel. Add the almonds then pour onto a greased baking tray and put aside to set.

Mix together the icing sugar, lemon zest and orange juice for the icing. Pour the resultant mixture over the cake. Chop up the set caramel and scatter it over the icing then put aside to set. 

If you would like a more traditional decoration, then take more marzipan (almond paste), shape into 11 balls and place these on top of the cake to represent the 11 loyal disciples.

Check out this link for a traditional Simnel cake recipe.

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