I was off to see my wonderful Grandparents yesterday and instead of bringing them chocolate eggs for Easter, I decided to make them a Simnel cake.
Simnel cake is a light fruit cake with almond paste or marzipan, that is toasted, and eaten during the Easter period. Conventionally eleven, or occasionally twelve, marzipan balls are used to decorate the cake, with a story that the balls represent the twelve apostles, minus Judas.
All the recipes I found for a traditional Simnel cake seemed very heavy, like a Christmas cake. I didn’t want that. So I decided to adapt a light fruit cake recipe and top it off with marzipan.
PEAR FRUIT CAKE
200g butter, softened plus extra for greasing
200g dark muscovado sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp black treacle
200g self-raising flour
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp baking powder
2 pears, grated (approx 100g each)
300g mixed sultanas and raisins
Heat oven to 180C and line the bottom of a deep, round 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Beat the first seven ingredients together in a large bowl (electric hand- beaters are best for this), until pale and thick. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold in the fruit until evenly combined.
Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 50 mins-1 hr or until the cake is dark golden colour.
Next, brush the top with apricot jam. Roll out almond paste and use the cake tin as a guide to cut out a circle to fit the cake. Carefully place this on top. Finally, roll 11 balls out of the left over almond paste and place on top.
Pop the cake under a hot grill to burnish the top- KEEP AN EYE ON THE CAKE AT ALL TIMES!
Happy Easter to everyone at Fiesta Friday!