Decorating the Easter Simnel Cake
Always up for baking a special treat, Constance is helping to decorate an Easter Simnel Cake…we adapted a recipe found on the internet: Click here for a link to the recipe, our adapted version is at the end of this post.
We’ve baked the cake, separated an egg, and here Constance is painting a beaten egg white onto a pansy!
Both sides of the flower are dredged in sugar, and the pansies left to desiccate overnight.
Now Constance helps roll out the Marzipan…We’ve put the bottom of the cake tin under the waxed paper so we can roll it to the perfect size, and dusted the Marzipan with super fine sugar so it doesn’t stick.
The circle of Marzipan is stuck to the cake top with Apricot Jam, and then the edges are crimped, just like doing a pie crust!
Constance stands back while the human operates the Flame Thrower – caramelizing the crimped edges slightly.
The sugared Pansies are stuck onto the cake with a bit of lemon juice and icing sugar frosting.
We aren’t sure we can bear to cut into this beautiful Easter Simnel cake!
Simnel Cake Recipe (with apologies to Delia)
1 pound of Marzipan, divided into two equal sections
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon mixed spice or garam masala
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 large or four small eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup of currants
1 1/2 cups of sultana, or yellow raisins
1/2 cup glace cherries, cut into quarters
1/2 cup chopped candied citrus peel
1/2 cup chopped almonds
grated zest of one lemon and one orange
1 tablespoon apricot jam
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and paper cake tin(s)…one 20 cm or two 17 cm loose-bottomed cake tins. Get out a large mixing bowl, a small mixing bowl, electric beaters and a wooden spoon.
Measure the flour into the large bowl.
Cut one of the marzipan chunks into 1 cm cubes, put them in the small mixing bowl, add a little of the measured flour and dredge the cubes so the sides are not sticky.
To the flour in the large bowl, add baking powder, spices, melted butter, sugar eggs and milk, and beat with the electric beaters until smooth.
Add the fruits and nuts, mixing well using the spoon.
Fold in the floured marzipan cubes.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pans.
Bake one big cake for 2 1/2 hours, or two small ones for 1 3/4 hours or until centre is firm.
Cool at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely (this will take a while – two hours or more. This is not a last minute cake!)
When absolutely cool, roll the rest of the marzipan into a circle the size of the top, stick it to the cake top with the jam. Crimp and caramelise the edges, and decorate with sugared edible flowers – we’ve used pansies.