Jun 01 2007

Simnel Cake

Simnel Cake was originally baked for Mothering Sunday but has now become associated with Easter.

Grease and line a 7 inch cake tin. Preheat the oven to 325F, gas 3 or 165c.

Cream together ½ lb/230gms of unsalted butter with the grated rind of two lemons and ½ lb/230gms of caster sugar, until light and fluffy.

Add four eggs slowly, beating as you go.

Now stir in 6 oz/200gms of mixed candied peel, 6oz/200gms sultanas, 1¼ lb/500gms currants. Sift 14 oz/400gms plain flour with a pinch of salt and a small teaspoon of baking powder and the same of mixed spice. Gently fold in. If it seems very stiff loosen with a dash of milk.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and cook for about 3 hours. Test with a skewer and cook a little longer if it comes out of the cake sticky.

Turn onto a wrack to cool and make the Almond topping.

Mix together 4oz/120gms ground almonds with4oz/120gms icing sugar. Add half a lightly beaten egg and a few drops of lemon juice. Knead the paste till smooth. Then, using two thirds of the paste, roll out a 7 inch circle to fit the top of the cake. Form little balls with the remaining paste to represent the 11 Apostles, excluding Judas, and place them on the cake with crystallised flowers or pre Christian Easter Eggs to celebrate Spring.

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