I love making Simnel cake, there are so many stages to it but yet its so easy! Its such a quirky little cake as well, with the apostles atop! Mine is always lop-sided (wonky cooker) and looking a bit sorry, but the smell through the house and the eating of it is anything but sorry or wonky! I often make this during the year but leave the apostles out altogether.
Easter Simnel Cake (adapted from Nigella Lawsons fruit cake)
100gms fat sultanas
100gms glace cherries
100gms dried pears (they have these in tesco)
Cup of white rum
150gms marzipan plus another 100gms for topping
50gms ground almonds
175gms plain flour
100gms caster sugar
100gms soft butter
2 lge egg
zest 1 lemon
tsp orange flower water (m+s do this)
17cm cake tin
The night before put all the fruit into a bowl with the rum and cover. Dice the marzipan and
put it in a freezer bag in the freezer!
The next day preheat your oven to 150c degrees-ish then blitz the rest of the ingredients in a food processor. Stir in the fruit, and the marzipan. Plop into a greased, lined cake tin and bake for about an hour and a half.
Check it after an hour just in case, depending on your oven!
When its just ready, roll a rough circle of marzipan and make eleven or twelve little balls as well (some people leave judas out, I don't). Brush the top of the cake with jam or marmalade and stick the circle on. Stick the little balls around it. Pop it back into the oven for about five minutes or until the marzipan is crispy and golden.
Leave this cake for up to a week wrapped in parchment in an airtight tin, like all fruit cakes it'll slice better if left a while. Or if you're like me and don't care about crumbs, slice what you can and spoon the fallen bits while still warm into a bowl to be picked at by all!