Simnel CakeFrom Sainsbury's
Tuck into this delicious traditional Easter cake.
Serves: makes 19cm cake
Preparation time: 50 Minutes
Cooking time: 210 Minutes
200g plain flour
2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
175g butter or margarine
175g brown sugar
Grated rind of 1 orange
4 medium eggs
75g glacé cherries, quartered
50g mixed peel
350g ground almonds
75g icing sugar
75g caster sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 drops almond essence
1 tablespoon warmed, sieved apricot jam
Grease a 19cm cake tin and line the base and sides with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper. Tie a thick band of brown paper around the side of the tin and stand it on a pad of brown paper on a baking sheet.
Make the almond paste: Mix the almonds and sugar together, add the egg, lemon juice and essence and mix to a smooth pliable paste and roll out one quarter into a 19cm circle.
Preheat the oven to 160°C, fan 140°C, gas 3.
Make the cake. Sift the flour and spice together. Cream the fat, sugar and orange rind together until lightly and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a large spoon of flour with the last two. Fold in the remaining flour and the fruit until thoroughly mixed.
Place half the cake mixture in the prepared tin, lay the circle of almond paste or marzipan on top and press down lightly. Place the remaining cake mixture on top and smooth the surface.
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, then lower the temperature to 150°C, fan 130°C, gas 2 and bake for a further 2½ hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool.
Roll out one third of the remaining almond paste or marzipan into a circle to fit the top of the cake. Brush the cake with apricot jam and press the paste into place. Shape the remaining paste or marzipan into small balls and arrange around the top of the cake. Place under a hot grill to brown the balls. Decorate with edible flowers.