I’ve been following the @WeeklyBakeOff on Twitter for a while now. The idea is each week a recipe from Mary Berry’s ‘My Kitchen Table: 100 Cakes and Bakes’ is selected and you have a week to make it and submit a photograph. So far I haven’t posted any of my efforts, but since this week’s choice was appropriately Easter Simnel Cake I thought it would be churlish not to. The Mary Berry Easter Simnel Cake is certainly not new to me and depending on numbers expected I may do either a 7in or 8in version.
Simnel cakes were once made by girls working in service in big houses to take to their Mothers on their one day off of the year, Mothering Sunday. This day falls in the middle of Lent. Over the years it has now become more associated with Easter. This is due to the 11 marzipan balls on top which represent Jesus’ 11 faithful Apostles, thus excluding Judas Iscariot.
The cake is a fruit cake but not so heavy and rich as a Christmas or wedding fruit cake. The twist to it is that halfway through is a layer of marzipan cut from a third of a block of marzipan. Another third of the marizpan is put on top with the remaining piece divided into 11 balls. An egg wash is put over the top and the cake is put under the grill until just coloured.
Out of the oven and cooled. Ready for the apricot jam before the marizpan topping goes on.
All marizpan Apostles shaped and placed. Now the egg wash and grill awaits.
All done! Some people like to put another marzipan ball in the middle to represent Jesus but I prefer a Spring daffodil decoration. Time to cut and eat.
The only cake I know meant to be cut into 11 slices. I never cut a ball in half but this causes a problem when only 2 people in the house eat it as one person is going to get an extra slice…