I've been working at creating an index of my recipes, which isn't very easy. I've been doing this blog for a very long time now, and posting new recipes pretty much every day through all those years . . . so it is a somewhat daunting feat, but I will persist and eventually you will have a full index that you can look up. In going through the recipes I realised that I had never ever posted a recipe for a Simnel Cake. Simnel everything else but no cake, and Simnel Cakes and Easter go together like peas and carrots!
A Simnel cake is a light fruit cake with two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the middle and one on top, that is toasted, and eaten during the Easter period here in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some other countries. I think it's also made for Mother's Day, but I'm not entirely sure. I did not bake a full Simnel Cake . . . because I didn't have enough Marzipan in, but I did find a recipe for a Simple Simnel Cake which I baked in its place and it turned out lovely.
It is a white fruit cake, or light . . . and is stogged full of dried fruits and glace cherries, the flavours of oranges (zest, juice and cointreau) . . . with a layer of marzipan in the centre. I do love marzipan, don't you? It is extremely lovely in this cake. It goes so well with cherries you know.
It's baked in a loaf tin, but do be warned you will need a large one. It's a lot of cake.
The top is glazed with a simple orange glaze icing and topped with caramel crusted almonds. The original recipe called for whole blanched almonds, but I didn't have any of those. I did have flaked however and they worked beautifully.
So what you get is a beautiful fruity cake, with a delicious layer of almondy marzipan in the centre, a scrumptious glaze on top and those beautiful crunchy sweet almonds scattered over the top. This is a cake that just begs to be served with a nice hot cuppa. Do indulge . . . and Happy Easter.
*A Simple Simnel Cake*Serves 16 to 18
For a more traditional recipe, and some of the history of the Simnel cake you can find one on the ASDA recipe pages here.