Easter Simnel Cake

An Easter Sunday wouldn't be the same with out a traditional Easter simnel cake to share with the family! This delicious recipe will get your taste buds tingling and can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks or even frozen for a couple of months after making. So if you are short on time over the Easter Weekend get baking this yummy recipe today and you will already be prepared for weekend!

For the cake

  • 300g mixed dried fruit (sultana, currants, raisins etc.)
  • 50g stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tea bag
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 150g Wholemeal flour
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 100g light brown muscavado sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 75g Honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

For the almond paste

  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 50g stem ginger, finely chopped

For the decoration

  • 2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed in a microwave or small pan
  • icing sugar, for dredging

 

Method

  1. Combine the fruits and stem ginger in a bowl. Put the tea in another bowl, pour over 125ml/4fl oz boiling water and infuse for 5-10 minutes. Strain the liquid over the fruit, then stir in the golden syrup and ground ginger.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan oven 160C. Line a baking tin (we used a  7.5cm/3in deep, 18cm/7in round cake tin) add non-stick baking parchment. 

  3. To make the almond paste combine all the ingredients from the list. Whisk until everything is mixed and then use your hands to bring it all together into a big ball. Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge.

  4. Beat the butter and muscavado sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk until the mixture is light in colour and drops softly from the beaters. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, then gently stir in the sifted wholemeal until smooth. Finally, stir in the dried fruits and their liquid.

  5. Spoon half the cake mixture into the tin and smooth the surface. Remove your ball of almond paste from the fridge and cut it in half. On your kitchen surface roll out a sheet of baking paper and dust with wholemeal flour. Put half of the paste onto the baking paper and dust with more flour as well as the rolling pin (The almond paste is sticky so it will need quite a bit) Then roll out the paste into a thin sheet, about the size of your baking tray. Once rolled, use the baking paper to help you manoeuvre it on top of the batter in your baking tray. Make sure everything is covered and trim the edges. 

  6. Cover the top of the tin with foil so it stays in place. Bake for 50 minutes, remove the foil and bake for a further 45 minutes to 1 hour until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave in the tin until completely cold, then remove and strip away the lining paper.

  7. For the decoration, put the remaining almond paste on some baking paper lightly dusted with wholemeal flour and do the same as we did above. Brush the jam over the surface of the cake, then add the paste to the top.

  8. Preheat the grill until hot. Place the cake on a baking tray and grill until light brown on top. Remove and leave to cool. This can then be served or hideaway in an airtight container until the big weekend!

HAPPY EASTER!

 

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