Saturday, 7 April 2012

Happy Easter! Simnel Cake

After last week's successful Hot Cross Buns, I was very happy to see that this week's Weekly Bake Off was a Simnel Cake. I only discovered Simnel Cake a couple of years ago, and am very much in favour of the idea - Easter is generally about a month after the Christmas Cake runs out, and with Spring in full bloom, this lighter fruit cake, with the addition of marzipan matches the season perfectly.
My round sprung cake tin is unfortunately a 23cm tin, not the 20cm that Mary Berry suggests, but having heard a few other Weekly Bakers discussing their 20cm tins overflowing during the bake, that probably wasn't a bad thing! It did mean that my marzipan for the middle was a bit thinner than I would have liked (likewise the marzipan on the top), but it seems to have oozed into the cake nicely. (In fact you can see the difference between the top and the bottom in the picture of the slice - I flipped the cake over to ice it, so the top layer in the picture was actually the bottom as the cake baked, with the marzipan oozing it's way into the batter as the cake baked.)

This was my first attempt working with marzipan as decoration, and not just a layer beneath royal icing (and to be honest I've only done that once!), so I used shop-bought, and apart from some initial issues with the middle layer sticking and the fact that I had to roll it quite thin to cover the larger surface of the cake, it went quite smoothly - I'm feeling a bit more confident about my upcoming Battenberg for a work challenge.

Instead of putting the cake under the grill to turn the marzipan golden I used one of my birthday presents instead, and had a bit of fun with my handheld blowtorch - I'm going to have to get around to making creme brulee soon - having seen how effective the blowtorch was on the marzipan I can't wait to try it out on sugar!
The final decoration of 11 marzipan balls went on, but unfortunately the apostles' numbers were quickly reduced by Mr Soup and I having 2 slices! I really enjoyed making this cake and am looking forward to my next slice with a cup of tea tomorrow morning!


  1. I love a Simnel Cake. Fruit cake of any kind is good and I love marzipan. I didn't make one this year and now I'm regretting it!

  2. Simnel cake is so lovely well done looks great