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29 October 2014
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Joanna's simnel cake.
Joanna's simnel cake

Simnel cake

Simnel cake, chocolate eggs and hot cross buns are traditionally the foods that signify the feast of Easter. Joanna Burdett, from Fakenham, shares her cake recipe, which is topped with 11 marzipan balls to represent the apostles, excluding Judas.

Simnel cake
Cooking time: Up to 3 hours
Cooking method: Bake
INGREDIENTS:

Cake

175g/6oz softened butter
175g/6oz pale muscovado sugar
3 large eggs
225g/8oz plain flour
50g/2oz ground almonds
1 teaspoon mixed spice
75g/3oz flaked almonds
575g/1.25 lbs mixed fruit

Topping

550g/1.5lbs almond paste, can be bought
2 tablespoons apricot jam
METHOD:

Pre-heat oven to 160C/325F/Gas mark 3

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, lightly beat the eggs and together with the flour, ground almonds and spice add a little at a time, stirring thoroughly.

Fold in the flaked almonds and mixed fruit, beating gently with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. Alternatively, use a mixing machine.

Divide the almond paste in half and divide one of the halves in half again. Roll one of the smaller portions into a circle approximately 18cm/7in round and place the remaining two balls of paste in a polythene bag.

Grease and line an 18cm/7in round cake tin and pile half of the cake mix into the bottom, smoothing it carefully. Place the circle of almond paste on top and then spoon the remaining mixture into the tin.

Bake in the oven for 1hr and 30 mins. Then cover the cake with a sheet of brown paper and reduce the temperature to 140C/275F/Gas mark 1.

Continue to bake for a further 1 to 1hr 30 mins or until the cake is well risen and feels firm to touch. When it looks golden brown and is baked, remove it from the oven. Leave it in the tin until completely cold.

Then remove it from the tin, carefully peeling away all the greaseproof paper. Take the second smaller portion of almond paste and roll into a circle approximately 18cm/7in round.

Lightly brush the surface of the cake with warmed apricot jam and apply the second circle of almond paste to the top of the cake.

Roll the remaining almond paste into 11 equal balls and place them around the edge of the top of the cake. Put the cake under a warm grill until browned or use a chef's blowtorch.

Finish with ribbon, a posy of spring flowers or a few small Easter eggs.

Joanna's simnel cake was featured in BBC Look East's Made In The East series.


last updated: 10/04/06
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