By French Tart on March 02, 2007
Photo by kiwidutch
Photo by kiwidutch
"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."
Serving Size: 1 (278 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 6
"With French Tarts permission I made this without the mixed peel becuase sadly no one here likes it. This came together well...I was a little confused about the brown paper, and I had no twine so I used 2 thickenesses of baking paper AND buttered/floured the bottom and sides of the springform putting the paper inside the tin. I DID give the pan it's tap to get rid of air bubbles but almost had a disaster when I went to take everything off so that I could set this on a cake rack to cool.. the almond paste in the middle was still liquid and was leaking down the sides of the cake at a great rate, so I quickly shoved it as neatly as I could back into the springform and let it cool completely before loosening it again. At least my baking paper helped stem the flow before I lost it all. Some of my eleven little balls slipped off while I had this in the oven the second time... so I'd advise not to put them too near to the edge of the cake. This was a gift to the mechanics in the local garage who fixed our car two days ago, very promptly and with excellent service that we are normally not accustomed to receiving in The Netherlands and I will go back for the spring form bottom later in the week, so will update the star rating when I find out how it tasted. It looked great and once I was started it wasn't so terribly difficult to make. I used ground almonds: aides Culinaires Amandes poudre (A French brand called Maitre Prunille) and it was wonderful! I'm not even a big fan of almond and I loved it, PLUS the almond paste whizzed up so easily in the food processor and rolled like a dream. Bonus becuase no one likes frustration when rolling out. Thanks! I have to confess that I have given 5 stars to this cake without tasting it myself because the 4 mechanics in the garage ate the entire cake between them in one sitting (and it's a BIG cake!) ...so it *must* have been GOOD LOL. Thanks FT !"