Simnel cake

Serves 11
2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Simnel cake

  • 200g of sugar
  • 200g of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 225g of flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g of flaked almonds, toasted
  • 225g of sultanas
  • 225g of currants
  • 100g of glacé cherries
  • 50g of candied peel
  • 1 orange's zest
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp of apricot jam
  • 500g of marzipan
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Method

1
Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2 and line a deep 20cm round cake tin with baking paper
2
In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter, then add the eggs one by one, beating after each addition. Fold in the flour and mixed spice until the mixture is fully combined
3
Mix in the nut, dried fruit and zest, so that the fruits and nuts are evenly distributed through the batter, and set the bowl to one side
4
Lightly dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out a third of the marzipan to create a circle – slightly smaller than the cake tin
5
Spoon half of the cake mixture into the cake tin then place the marzipan circle on top. Cover with the remaining mixture and transfer to the oven to bake for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. To check the cake is cooked insert a metal skewer into the cake, it should come out clean
6
After this time, allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool on a wire rack
7
Roll out half of the remaining marzipan on a dusted surface into a circle, trimming around the cake tin to give you a neat edge. Brush the top of the cake with the apricot jam and stick the marzipan on top. Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 small balls and arrange around the edge of the cake
8
Use a blowtorch to gently scorch the top of each ball and the middle of the cake to create the finished burnished effect. Alternatively, if you do not have a blowtorch, preheat the grill to high and place the cake under the grill for a few seconds until the top of the marzipan is lightly golden – be careful as it can burn very quickly