Simnel Cake (Easter Cake)
Simnel Cake (Easter Cake) Preparation
You will need an 8 inch (20cm) round cake tin greased with melted vegetable fat and a cirlce of grease proof paper in the base. Heat the oven to 170?C/325F/gas mark 3. Put all the ingredients into a roomy bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Level the surface and a quick bang on the work top will help this. Bake in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours until the cake is shrinking away from the side of the tin. Leave the cake in the tin until it firms up and the tin is not too hot to hold. Run a thin knife round the side of the cake pressing the blade towards the tin. Turn onto a wire rack. To turn this cake into a Simnel Cake you will need about 200g (7oz) of made up marzipan and 2 tbsp of warm apricot jam. If the cake is not flat, slice off the domed bit and turn the cake upside down on the plate. Brush the flat top with a little apricot jam. Roll the almond paste out and cut a circle to fit the top of the cake. This should be about 5cm thick depending how much you like marzipan. Press the circle on top of the cake. Firm it down. Mark the edges with a fork or pinch it up as you might do pastry (score a lattice design on the paste with the blunt side of a knife. Toast under a hot grill if you wish). Use the rest of the almond paste to roll out 11 small balls as evenly as possible. Set these balls round the edge of the cake, a tiny dot of icing will anchor each ball. The tradition is that the 11 balls represent the 11 apostles (Judas the triator is left out).
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