A surprisingly easy and impressive traditional Easter centerpiece. This Simnel Cake is a superbly moist fruit cake and a must for marzipan lovers. Can also be made dairy free.
180ml Mellow Yellow Rapeseed Oil
45ml milk (for dairy free use any soya, almond, rice milk etc.)
250g demerara sugar
5 medium eggs
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp Schwartz Cinnamon Ground
1 ½ tsp Schwartz Mixed Spice
50g ground almonds
75g glace cherries, chopped
100g mixed peel
50g apricot jam
An easy alternative to using the individual dried fruits is to use a 1kg bag of mixed fruit which contains sultanas, currants, raisins, orange peel, lemon peel. You can still add the glace cherries if you wish or if like me you may prefer to leave them out!
Preheat the oven to 140°C/gas mark 7. Grease and line a 20cm round tin.
Add the Mellow Yellow Rapeseed Oil, milk and sugar into a bowl. Beat the eggs and gently fold into the oil and sugar. Sieve the flour, ground cinnamon and mixed spice into the bowl, then add the ground almonds. Fold this into oil, sugar and egg mixture to form a batter. Finally, add the dried fruit and fold in well.
Pour half the mixture into the tin. Then, roll out 300g of the marzipan to fit the tin (approx. 19cm diameter). Place this on top of the cake mixture. Pour the remaining mixture into the tin and spread out evenly. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes and then cover with greaseproof paper.
Bake for between 2 hours 45 minutes and 3 hours 15 minutes in the pre-heated oven, or until cooked through (it will be firm to press or a place a skewer in the centre and if it’s clean when pulled out the cake is cooked).
Cool completely in the tin on a wire rack. Heat the jam and brush over the top of the cake. Take approx. 225g of the marzipan and roll out into a circle to fit the top of the cake. With the remaining marzipan, create 11 balls and place around the top.
Finally, for the traditional glaze the top of the cake, place under a grill until just browning or for best results carefully use a blowtorch to brown the desired areas.