With the sun set to be shining over the long Easter weekend, we’re most looking forward to getting some vitamin D whilst enjoying a slice of cake and cup of tea. Claire, Senior Designer at Ca’ Pietra shares her most favourite traditional Easter Simnel cake recipe, perfect for just that!
You will need
100g (4 oz) red or natural glace cherries
225g (8 oz) softened butter
225g (8 oz) light muscovado sugar
4 large eggs
225g (8 oz) self-raising flour
225g (8 oz) sultanas
100g (4 oz) currants
50g (2 oz) chopped candied peel
grated rind of 2 lemons
2 level teaspoons ground mixed spice
For the filling and topping
450g (1lb) almond paste or marzipan
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 large egg, beaten, to glaze
Steps to follow
1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°c/fan 130°C/Gas 2. Grease a 20cm (8 inch) deep round cake tin then line the base and sides with baking parchment.
2. Cut the cherries into quarters, put in a sieve and rinse under running water. Drain well then dry thoroughly on kitchen paper. Measure all the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat well until thoroughly blended. Place half the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.
3. Take one-third of the almost paste and roll it out to a circle the size of the tin and then place on top of the cake mixture. Spoon the remaining cake mixture on top and level the surface.
4. Bake in the pre0heated oven for about 2 ½ hours until well risen, evenly brown and firm to the touch. Cover with foil after 1 hour if the top is browning too quickly leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.
5. When the cake is cool, brush the top with a little warmed apricot jam and roll out half the remining almond paste to fit the top. Press firmly on the top and crimp the edges to decorate. Mark a crisscross pattern on the almond paste with a sharp knife. Form the remaining almond paste into 11 balls.
6. Brush the almond paste with beaten egg and arrange the almond paste balls around the edge of the cake. Brush the tops of the balls with beaten egg too, and then place the cake under a hot grill to turn the almost paste golden.
If you’d rather something a little stronger to pair with this Simnel cake, take a look at this recipe for a Simnel cake sour. The perfect Easter cocktail with all the spices of the season.