17 Mar 2017

Jane’s Simnel Cake

Easter Simnel Cake

A delicious and classically traditional fruity Easter cake that will keep well in a tin for a month or so if it doesn’t all get eaten on the day. The cute chicks are optional, but I absolutely love them, and Poundland offer so many for £1 that you could crowd loads of them onto your cake!

Love, Jane x

MARCH

Ingredients

  • 225g butter
  • 225g soft dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 225g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 100g currants
  • 225g sultanas
  • 100g glacé cherries, chopped
  • 50g chopped candied peel
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 50 ml whisky, brandy or orange juice)
  • 500g marzipan
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) apricot jam, sifted
  • 1 egg white, beaten

You will need

Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 150C (135C fan/300F/gas mark 2).
    2. Knead about two thirds of the marzipan until soft, then roll out. Press the cake tin onto the marzipan as a guide, then cut a circle just inside the line. Gather up and re-roll the marzipan. Mark and cut a second circle. Set both aside.
    3. Lightly grease the cake tin and line the bottom and sides with baking paper – or use a silicone liner as I have.
    4. Cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon in a large bowl until light and soft then slowly add the beaten egg, little by little. Add the sifted flour and fold in gently, then stir in the fruit, spice and lemon zest, mixing well. Spoon half the mixture into the prepared cake tin, then cover with a marzipan circle. Add the remaining cake mix, then bake for about two and a half hours until risen and brown – check by inserting a knife into the centre and see if it comes out clean.
    5. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
    6. Warm the sifted apricot jam slightly in a small pan and brush it onto the top of the cake. Add the second marzipan circle (tip: if the top of the cake is very bumpy, you could always turn it upside down before adding the marzipan). Roll the remaining marzipan into 12 balls, stick them around the top of the cake and brush all over with egg white. Place under a hot grill for a short time until the marzipan begins to brown – watch carefully as it can easily burn.
    7. Add a pretty ribbon and some Easter chicks!

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