When I think of Easter, a Sinmel cake comes to mind but never into reality! Marzipan, fruits and the very traditions of it are what give me the desire to bake it, then many factors contribute to me never making it at all. As Easter is early next month, I thought I would get you ready in advance!
This delicious cake is thought to have originated in the medieval times and has also had ties with Mothering Sunday. Young girls in service took the cake home for their mothers on their day off. You can’t imagine this now can you? There are no girls in service and there are not many who can cook either. But these days a Simnel cake has all the symbolism of Easter. Laden with marzipan and fruits - like a Christmas cake - it then has 11 balls of marzipan on the top representing the 11 true disciples. Sometimes a ball in the middle will be representative of Christ.
Last year, in desperation, I decided to devise a recipe with all of the elements of the original, but a little less time consuming. I am not a lover of a twist on a classic so we perhaps can dub this a Highworth Easter Cake?
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Beat together 150g soft butter and 175g grated marzipan. then add 2 large eggs, beat well then stir through 150g self raising flour, a teaspoon of mixed spice and a teaspoon of baking powder. Next mix in 100g dried berries like cranberries and cherries. Pour the batter into a 2lb loaf tin and scatter over the surface another 175g marzipan, but cubed this time. Bake for just over an hour until the cake is springy to the touch and coming away a little from the sides of the tin. Remember to infuse a touch of Easter spirit whilst mixing or double up on the mix and give some of your spirit away to your friends.