Complete your Easter celebrations with this Simnel cake, which carries chunks of marzipan alongside other fruits and spices. For a whimsical floral touch, these sugared flowers will also make the decadent dessert an aesthetic treat!
- 1 cup (220 g) caster sugar
- 1⅓ cup (200 g) almond meal (ground almonds)
- 1 tsp almond essence
- 1 egg, beaten lightly
- 175 g butter, softened
- ¾ cup (175 g) brown sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten lightly
- 1¼ cups (185 g) self-raising flour, plus 2 tbsps extra
- ½ cup (75 g) plain flour
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 cup (160 g) currants
- 1½ cups (240 g) sultanas
- ¼ cup (50 g) glacé cherries, cut into quarters
- ¼ cup (40 g) candied peel, chopped finely
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
- 1 tbsp apricot jam
- 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
- Unsprayed edible flowers
- 1 egg white, beaten lightly
- ½ cup (110 g) caster sugar
Preheat oven to 150 C (130 C fan-forced). Grease a deep 18 cm round cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper.
Make marzipan: Combine the sugar, ground almonds and essence in a medium bowl. Mix in the beaten egg to form a soft consistency. Knead for 1 min or until smooth and elastic. Divide mixture in half; cut one of the portions into 1 cm cubes. Toss the cubes in the extra flour, shaking away excess. Wrap the remaining piece in plastic wrap and set aside.
Make cake: Beat butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs. Fold in the combined sifted flours and mixed spice, then the combined fruit, peel and rind.
Spoon ⅓ of mixture into prepared pan; press in half the marzipan squares. Top with another ⅓ of the mixture, then remaining marzipan squares and, finally, remaining mixture; smooth top.
Bake for 2 hrs (cover with foil if over-browning) or until cooked when tested. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
Brush top of the cold cake with apricot jam. Roll out remaining marzipan to a circle 20 cm in diameter. Place the circle of paste on top of the cake; trim edges. Brush the paste with a little of the beaten egg.
Preheat grill on high. Place the cake onto a baking tray and grill for 1-2 mins, or until the top of the Marzipan is beginning to brown. (A blow torch could also be used.)
Make sugared flowers: Using an artist’s paintbrush, paint the flowers with the egg white and press in sugar to coat.
Top cake with sugared flowers to serve.
Suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.