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Most of us associate Easter with all sorts of delicious treats. From hot cross buns to chocolate bunnies and eggs to a traditional Easter meal. But a traditional Easter recipe that you might not have tried yet is the Easter simnel cake. This is a rich fruit cake topped with marzipan and eleven marzipan balls. The balls represent the eleven disciples, minus Judas.
This recipe will create a delicious Easter simnel cake to serve 10 - 12 people. It will take roughly two hours and ten minutes to make. You will need a 20cm cake tin and baking parchment. If you want a truly traditional finish, you will need a blowtorch for the marzipan, however, the cake is just as good without.
For the Topping
3 tbsp apricot jam
500g golden marzipan
For the Cake
75g glacé cherries
50g mixed peel
100g ground almonds
1 zested orange
75 ml water
200g unsalted butter
6 tbsp honey
200g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
3 large eggs
75g golden syrup
1. Preheat your oven to 170C. While it is heating, line your cake tin with baking parchment.
2. Soften your butter. Then add your eggs, one at a time, while continuing to beat the mixture. Then stir in your honey.
3. Take a separate bowl and mix together your flour, baking powder, ground almonds and mixed spice. Slowly fold this mixture into the bowl of butter, honey and eggs.
4. Add your dried fruit, orange zest and 75ml water to the mixture, stirring carefully.
5. Add ⅓ of this batter to your lined cake tin and put to one side.
6. Take ⅓ of your marzipan and roll it out. Then cut it into an 18cm circle. Place this on top of the cake batter that is in the tin.
7. Add the rest of your cake batter on top of the marzipan layer in the tin.
8. Bake your cake in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. It should become dark and springy to the touch. Cool in the tin for ten minutes, then move it to a wire rack to cool further.
9. While the cake cools, take some of your marzipan and roll eleven small, evenly sized balls out of it. Then roll your remaining marzipan and cut it into a 20cm circle.
10. Once the cake has cooled, brush your apricot jam over the top of it. Then place your 20cm on top. There should be enough marzipan for the circle to slightly hang over the edges of the cake.
11. Add your marzipan balls to the top of the cake. Traditionally, people opt to arrange them in a circle.
12. If you want a truly traditional finish, use a blowtorch to torch the marzipan. It should begin to bubble and brown a little. If you want this effect, but don’t have a blowtorch, you can place your cake under the grill until you see a similar effect.
What do you eat to celebrate Easter? Let us know your favorite recipes and treats in the comments below!