Ingredients / Shopping List
225g plain flour2 tsp baking powderPinch salt100g glacé cherries350g mixed dried fruits1 tea bag175g unsalted butter175g soft light brown sugarZest 1 lemon4 eggs50g ground almonds400g marzipan2 tblsp apricot jam
Prep to Cook: Deep sided cake tin, mixing bowl, food mixer, spatula, tablespoon, lemon zester or grater, basin, chopping board and vegetable knife, sieve, plate. Pre-heat oven 180⁰C or Gas mark 4.
Prepare the cake tin:
grease and line a 20cm deep sided cake tin. Soak the dried fruit in half a cup of tea made with tea bag and 200ml water.
Zest the lemon
Simnel Cake has a history. In medieval times girls in service made the cake to take home to their mothers on Mothering Sunday. It was also decorated for Easter celebrations with 11 eggs to represent the loyal disciples.
Cooks Know How: This recipe demonstrates the effect of using soft brown sugar and marzipan in a fruit cake. The basic method for making it uses the ‘creaming method’ but the aim is for a flat cake ready for decorative layer so plain flour with a smaller amount of raising agent is used. The cake contains fruits, sultanas, currants, and raisins, bought as ‘mixed dried fruits’. Using a cold tea marinade the fruits are plumped and softened. The glace cherries add extra sugar and moistness to the cake. Ground almonds enrich the cake and help it to have a longer shelf life. It is the layering of the cake that is different. Half the cake mixture is placed in the tin and then a layer of marzipan is shaped and placed on the layer. Finally the remains of the cake is piled upon the marzipan and levelled out.