Published Thursday, 21 March 2013
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about 2 hours
From a cake made by young girls in service at large stately homes, to take home on leave at Easter, to a couple who could not agree on whether to cook a fruit cake or sponge for Easter.
They were called Simon and Nellie, so they called the cake Sim-Nel.
The decoration is also very traditional, layered with marzipan, grilled with 12 balls of marzipan on top, each one representing one of the apostles. Some people say that one should be removed, to represent Judas, others say an extra one should be added to represent Jesus.
- 225g unsalted butter
- 225g castor sugar
- 4 medium eggs, beaten
- 225g self raising flour
- 25g ground almonds
- 225g currants
- 115g sultanas
- 50g candied peel chopped very finely
- 100g chopped natural glace cherries
- finely grated zest of 2 large lemons
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground mace
- ½ tsp ground cinamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp Brandy
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp apricot jam, sieved
- 500g natural marzipan
- 100g 'fondant' icing sugar
- 1-2 tbsp lime juice, sieved
- Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees C, Gas 3.
- Butter a 20cm cake tin (deep) and line with 2 layers of greaseproof paper.
- Cream the soft butter and sugar together, until thick and creamy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, and then fold in the dry ingredients.
- Finally add the brandy.
- Half fill the prepared baking tin, roll out half the marzipan into a disc to just fit into the cake tin.
- Lay carefully over the mixture, press down to expel any air bubbles. Top with the rest of the cake mixture, level and bake in the pre heated oven until set and nicely browned.
- Remove from the oven and cool.
- When cooled, remove the paper, turn the cake upside down and cover the top with a little apricot jam.
- Role out the second half of the marzipan cut to fit the top of the cake perfectly, press down and roll flat with a rolling pin.
- Using the off cuts, roll out 11, 12 or 13 balls.
- Decorate the edge of the marzipan with a 'pinching effect', glaze the top of the marzipan with beaten egg and stick down the balls.
- Brown under a hot grill.
- Mix a little icing sugar and lime juice together until you have a runny consistency, pour into the middle of the cake and set.
- Wrap in a large ribbon, so you can just see the cake and marzipan.