1/1 Photo of Traditional British Mothering Sunday Simnel Cake
1 hr 30 mins
French Tart's Note:
A wonderul spiced & fruited cake which heralds the advent of Spring. I used to make one for my Mum every year, when I lived in England! Traditionally made to mark Mothering Sunday, this cake is also known as an Easter Cake; Simnel cake has a fascinating cultural heritage with roots that stretch back to the Romans and Athenians. In Britain, known as the Shrewsbury Simnel, it is simply made using white flour, fragrant spices and is generously studded with dried fruits and pungent peel. Like a Christmas cake, it is covered with pale sweet almond paste. The decoration is plain - eleven little balls of smooth paste which represent the apostles (omitting Judas). A specially baked simnel cake is a wonderful gift to take to your mother, for Mothering Sunday Tea Time. Decorate it with crystalised flowers and tie some yellow ribbon around the side.
My Private Note
Units: US | Metric
- 400 g icing sugar, sifted
- 250 g ground almonds
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten lightly
- 3 -4 tablespoons orange juice
- 5 drops almond essence
- 1CHECK LIST: a sifter, nest of bowls, food processor or electric beater, spatula, wooden spoon, 24 cm round cake tin, baking paper, brown paper and twine, rolling pin, thin metal skewer.
- 2STAGE 1.
- 3To make your own almond paste you will need a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Don't be tempted to use store-bought almond paste because it contains lots of sugar and few almonds, it will turn to liquid under the grill.
- 4Place icing sugar and almonds in food processor bowl. Process, slowly dripping in egg yolk, orange juice and almond essence. The mixture should form a pliable paste.
- 5Set aside a small portion for balls with which to decorate the cake.
- 6Roll out the remaining paste into 2 circles which are the approximate size of the tin. Set aside.
- 7STAGE 2.
- 8Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F.
- 9Use a sturdy non-stick cake tub or line the buttered base with baking paper. As the baking period is long (1-1 1/2 hours), prevent the cake drying out by wrapping a double thickness of brown paper around the pan and securing it with twine.
- 10Sift flour, salt and spices together, then stir in fruit and peel.
- 11Cream butter and sugar thoroughly until light and creamy then beat in eggs one at a time, until the mixture is fluffy. (Reserve a drop of egg yolk for brushing over top layer of almond paste.).
- 12Stir flour and fruit into creamed mixture (you may need to add a little milk to give the mixture a dropping consistency).
- 13STAGE 3.
- 14Place half the mixture into a greased and lined cake tin.
- 15Place one pre-rolled round of almond paste over the top.
- 16Cover with remaining cake mixture. Before baking the cake, give the pan of mixture a sharp tap on to a firm surface. This settles the mixture and prevents holes from forming in the cake.
- 17Bake in the centre of the oven for 1-1 1/4 hours or until a thin metal skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out without a trace of stickiness.
- 18Level the cake by placing a weighted plate on top of the cooked cake while it is still hot.
- 19Turn out cake on to a wire rack after leaving it to settle in the cake tin for between 10 and 15 minutes. Peel off paper and leave to cool completely.
- 20STAGE 4.
- 21Cover the top of the cake with a second round of almond paste. Roll 11 small balls of paste and place evenly around the top of the cake. Brush the top with a little beaten egg and very lightly brown under the grill until the almond paste turns light golden brown.
- 22Remove and leave to cool.
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Nutritional Facts for Traditional British Mothering Sunday Simnel Cake
Serving Size: 1 (278 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 6
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 1314.8
- Calories from Fat 432
- Total Fat 48.0 g
- Saturated Fat 17.3 g
- Cholesterol 202.2 mg
- Sodium 241.9 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 211.8 g
- Dietary Fiber 11.4 g
- Sugars 151.1 g
- Protein 22.5 g
The following items or measurements are not included: