Esater Simmel Cake`

Ingredients

  • 225g/8oz Odlums Strong White Flour
  • 175g/6oz Butter (room temperature)
  • 175g/6oz Light Brown Sugar
  • 225g/8oz Shamrock Raisins
  • 225g/8oz Shamrock Sultanas
  • 75g/3oz Shamrock Cherries
  • 75g/3oz Shamrock Mixed Peel
  • 4 Eggs (beaten)
  • 50g/2oz Shamrock Chopped Almonds
  • 50g/2oz Shamrock Ground Almonds
  • Rind of 1 Orange
  • 2 tablespoons Whiskey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mixed Spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/3 of the Almond Paste

Almond Paste

  • 450g/1lb Shamrock Ground Almonds
  • 225g/8oz Caster Sugar
  • 225g/8oz Icing Sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 drops almond essence
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or rum

To Decorate:

Apricot Jam

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas 1. Line a 20cms/8″ round deep cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Sieve the flour, spice and nutmeg together.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed. This takes about 4 to 6 minutes.
  4. Place half the mixture into the prepared tin.
  5. Roll out 1/3 of the almond paste to fit onto cake mixture. Cover with remaining mixture.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 3 1/2 – 4 hours approx. Cover with greaseproof paper if getting too dark on top. Check at intervals after 2 1/2 hours. Once baked, leave cake in tin to go cold.

To make Almond Paste:

  1. Mix dry ingredients together. Mix liquid ingredients together.
  2. Add enough wet mixture to dry mixture to make a firm paste. Knead well to make a smooth paste.
  3. Note: If you don’t want to make almond paste just use 3 x 250g packs of Shamrock Marzipan.

To decorate:

  1. Spread apricot jam on top of cake. Shape a further 1/3 of the almond paste to form a 20cms/ 8″ round and place on top.
  2. Shape remaining almond paste into 11 balls and arrange around top of paste.
  3. Place under preheated grill for a minute or so to lightly toast

Notes:

  • Simnel cake is traditionally eaten on Easter Sunday. In olden days female servants would bake this fruit cake using all the ingredients that had to be used up before the fast and abstinence of Lent. They would take this home on their rare visits to their mothers on Mothering Sunday.
  • The Simnel cake is a symbolic Easter cake and is decorated to signify aspects of Christianity. The eleven marzipan balls around the cake represent the 11 disciples, though there were 12 – Judas Iscariot betrayed so he is omitted! Some people just put a large ball in the centre of the cake to signify Jesus.
  • Note: Strong white flour gives a flat top on the cake, but Odlums Cream Plain Flour can also be used.