Cakes & Cookies

Simnel Cake Recipe

INGREDIENTS

200g margarine.
125ml brown sugar.
3 eggs.
375ml cake flour.
5ml ground cinnamon.
5ml ground mixed spice.
2ml ground nutmeg.
2ml salt.
750ml dried fruit cake mix.
750g marzipan.
smooth apricot jam.

STEPS

Preheat oven to 150°C.
Grease a 19cm loose-bottomed cake tin with margarine and line with baking paper.
In a bowl cream the margarine and sugar together.
Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the margarine mixture.
Add the dried fruit cake mix.
Mix well.
Turn half the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly.
Roll out 250g of the marzipan and cut into a 19cm circle.
Place on top of the cake mixture in the tin and press down lightly.
Turn the remaining cake mixture into the tin and spread evenly.
Bake the cake for 2 hours or until pale brown on top and a testing skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
There may be a trace of moisture caused by the marzipan.
Cool the cake in the cake tin before turning it out.
Wrap well in plastic wrap or aluminium foil until needed.
When ready for use, spread the top of the cake with apricot jam.
Roll out another 19cm marzipan circle and place on top of the cake pressing down firmly.
Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 walnut-sized balls.
Spread each ball with apricot jam and place the balls on the marzipan circle.
Turn on the oven grill and place the cake in the oven until the marzipan is lightly browned.
Decorate the cake with a ribbon, if preferred.

TIP: Bake this cake at least a week before the Easter weekend to allow it to mature.
The cake keeps well for up to 2 weeks if stored in an airtight container.