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Our Founder and CEO, Jennifer Georgeson, whipped up an Easter classic that some like to call 'Christmas cake's cousin' - The Simnel Cake.
It's a golden, rich fruit cake traditionally served at Easter. What makes a Simnel Cake so special is that, unlike the classic Christmas fruit cake, this cake contains a layer of marzipan sandwiched and baked into the centre of the cake. 
Two generous slices down and we're convinced this cake needs to be on everyone's Easter menu; Jennifer shows us how. 
 

THE SIMNEL CAKE

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil for greasing
  • 500g natural-coloured marzipan
  • 225g Gluten-free Flour mix (or plain flour if you prefer that)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 225g softened unsalted butter
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs (room temperature)
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp Brandy
  • 225g sultanas
  • 125g currants
  • 100g natural-coloured glace cherries, halved and washed
  • Grated zest of one large lemon

For the top:

  • 2 tbsp warm apricot jam
  • 4 tbsp golden icing sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

 

Method:

  • This recipe makes a 20cm round cake.
  • Start by pre-heating the oven to 160 degrees/ gas mark 3.
  • Oil and line the base and the sides of a 6cm deep, 20cm round-loose baked cake tin with double baking parchment.
  • Cut an 85g piece of the marzipan and set it aside. The remaining marzipan block can be cut in half.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and spices together.
  • Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until it's fluffy and light in another bowl.
  • Gradually and slowly, add the eggs and the flour mixture to the creamed mix. 
  • Stir in the ground almonds, then stir in the brandy and the dried fruits, cherries and lemon zest and the whole mix and good stir.
  • Spoon half of the mixture into the tin and level. Roll out one of the larger pieces of marzipan. (Use the cake tin base as a guide to help you). Then cut it into a circle to fit the tin.
  • Lay it carefully over the cake mixture.
  • Spoon in the other half of the cake mix, level it out and bake for 1 1/2- 1 3/4 hours or until a toothpick you insert in the centre comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the tin. When it has cooled completely, take it out of the tin, remove the baking paper and turn it upside down onto a serving platter to have a flat top. (We recommend the Leila platter for a stunning display).
  • Brush the top of the cake with a bit of warmed apricot jam.
  • Roll out the larger remaining piece of marzipan to fit the top of the cake precisely and press it down gently to make it flat. 
  • Decorate the edges of the marzipan with a 'pinching effect'.
  • Divide the remainder of the 85g marzipan into 11 balls ( you could get your children or kids involved in this).
  • Using the remaining jam, stick the balls along the edge of the cake.
  • Last but not least, mix a bit of lemon juice into the icing sugar to make it easy to spread and pour it onto the centre of the cake.
  • Finish it off with a beautiful ribbon around the side of the cake.
  • Enjoy with family and friends!

 

(Recipe Courtesy - Seriously Good! Gluten-free Baking)

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