As with all ideas I took it to Google and settled on THIS LINK which features a recipe from James Martin, one of my favourite TV Chefs... now, unfortunately I didn't find it fantastically easy to follow so I decided to give it a go, and explain it to you all...
So here is my take on my a traditional Simnel cake
Testament to taste I put it out this morning and there's less than 1/4 left... hehe
Step 1: Ingredients
- 175g/6oz light muscavado sugar
- 175g/6oz butter (I used 'Slightly Salted)
- 175g/6oz self-raising flour
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 25g/1oz ground almonds
- 2 tbsp milk
- 110g/4oz sultanas
- 110g/4oz glacé cherries
- 110g/4oz dried apricots
- 110g/4oz stem ginger I used the preserved stuff in a jar
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 500g bar of golden marzipan
- Apricot Jam
- Icing sugar
- Weighing Scales
- Mixing bowl
- Electric whisk or a big spoon
- Assorted spoons (well some tea spoons and table spoons)
- Butter knife
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Tea Towl
- Oven and Grill... Or a mini Blowtorch
- 8" baking tin
- grease proof paper
Step 2: IMPORTANT! No Biological Warfare Please! Scrub Up!
# Remove any rings/ Jewellery that may come in contact with the food
# Wash your hands before you cook
# After handling Eggs, its good practice to wash your hands (Stops the spread of Salmonella and such)
# DO NOT Lick or taste off a spoon THEN put it back into the bowl you took the sample from... EWW... If I wanted your germs I would kiss you!
Before I start sounding like a rambling germ freak, I'm sure you'll agree this is all common sense... But some people just don't ...get... that its not hygienic
Step 3: Grease That TIN!
To make sure your cake doesn't stick, I always put a circle of parchment on the bottom of the tin... Best thing to do is to draw around the bottom of your tin onto the parchment, I then cut it out.
Pop it in the bottom of the tin and PRE HEAT your oven to 160C/320F/Gas Mark 3.
Step 4: Dry Goods
So bung all your dry goods into a bowl and give it a good stir
By Dry goods I mean
Sugar, Flour, Ground Almonds, Spices :)
Step 5: MMM Fruity
Note to self: If you use preserved Stem Ginger don't spill the damn syrup everywhere.... it's very sticky and not good when your mum finds it all over her table...
Step 6: Butter Me Up
I then chopped the butter into little chunks. It would have made it a lot easier if the butter i had used was at room temperature...
Pop your butter in with your dry mix, and give it a bit of a mix together
Step 7: Egg and Milk
Step 8: Fruitify It!
Step 9: It's Wishin' Time!
DO NOT LET THEM TELL YOU WHAT THEY HAVE WISHED FOR OTHERWISE THE WISH WILL NOT COME TRUE
Step 10: Marzipan Is My Friend
Step 11: Fill That TIN!
Step 12: Bung It in T'oven
James Martin said that the cake will take anything from 1 and a half to two hours cooking time. REMEMBER if you have a fan assisted oven like myself this will be alot shorter
If you think the cake is cooking too much on the top, but is still raw in the middle, try turning the oven down abit or by putting a circle of parchment ontop of the cake
Step 13: Is It Cooked Yet?
The best way to do this is to firstly give the top of the cake a gentle prod, it should be firm, but still soft.
Then take a knife and put it into the middle of the cake, when you pull the knife out it should come out clean... don't forget that you will probably get a little marzipan on the knife, but that won't transubstantiate into cake ;) providing you don't get any cake batter on the knife the cake is ready to be taken out of the oven.
Step 14: Cool It Daddio
Take it out of the tin when completely cooled... Make sure to run a knife around the edges of the tin to loosen any mix on the sides, If you have a tin like mine where the bottom lifts out... lift out the bottom, peel off the paper and put on a plate
IF your tin is a solid one, loosen the mix from the sides, pop a plate ONTOP of the cake and tin... turn the whole thing over and your cake should HOPEFULLY come out of the tin (give it a gentle tap if not) peel off the paper, place another plate on the bottom of the cake... and then flip the whole thing over
Clear as mud?
Step 15: MORE Marzipan Madness!
You will also need to roll out a round to use as a top to your cake.
Step 16: JAM JAM MARZIPAN
you can't put on the marzipan directly as it wont stick to the cake...
we need glue
we need JAM! Apricot Jam!...
We need to melt this jam either in the microwave (by putting a table spoon full in a mug and popping it in for 30 seconds or so at 800W) Or melt it in a pan
BE CAREFUL, molten jam WILL burn!
Spoon the jam all over the top of the cake, then put on the Marzipan top that you rolled in the last step.
I just like to texture the top of the cake with a fork, but leaving it flat will still be okay. I glue the balls to the top of the cake with with a little more jam
NOW beat an egg in a cup, and brush this mix over the top of the marzipan
Step 17: Grillin'
I like to sprinkle some icing sugar ontop of the egg when grilling to make the egg wash taste a little better.
Step 18: Chow Down!
I hope you enjoyed my i'ble ... If you liked it rate it, if you bake it show me
Let me know if I can help in anyway
Cheerio and Happy Easter