It's late in the day for an Easter post perhaps, but this week's recipe for the Weekly Bake Off, as chosen by the lovely Amy, was Easter Simnel Cake.
The Weekly Bake Off is Amy's masterplan to bake her way through Mary Berry's 100 Cakes and Bakes, a beautiful little baking book which is so reasonably priced (under £4 at the moment) and with so many varied recipes that I really encourage you to buy it!
Although I knew what it was, I've never even tasted Simnel Cake before (a little bit put off by the amount of marzipan - especially without the Christmassy covering of royal icing - I mean I like marzipan, but this has always seemed too much). The recipe can be found online at My Kitchen Table, so I won't repeat it here.
It's actually quite a simple recipe, chock full of sultanas, currants and glace cherries. The trickiest part is fitting the dividing layer of marzipan into the cake tin. I ended up using the loose bottom from a cake tin of the same size to cut around once I had rolled the marzipan out.
|Marzipan covered and ready to go in the oven
The recipe calls for the cake to be baked for 2 1/2 hours in total - I did as advised and checked after 1 hour, and as my cake was looking quite brown at that stage, I covered it with foil. I intended to check it again after a further hour, but missed the beep of the timer, so by the time I next checked on it, it had done nearly the full 2 1/2 hours.
At this point the cake looked a little overdone and, as you can see from the above photo of a slice of the cake, was definitely drier and crustier around the edges. Rolling out the marzipan for the top covering and the balls representing the 11 Apostles (as a traitor, Judas doesn't get one) was pretty straightforward, although I found it difficult to get the crimped edge to look nice.
To be honest, I'm not sure I'd make it again. Although my brother and neice thought it was great, it was a little dry, and when they wanted cake to take home today, they opted for Friday's Lemon Drizzle Blueberry Loaf, which was still lovely and moist. I know others in the Bake Off thought this was a lovely cake, so maybe it would have been better if I had managed to get it out of the oven earlier.
I hope you've had a fantastic Easter,