Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.

As it’s Easter my contribution this week is Simnel Cake. This recipe is from Marguerite Patten’s Everyday Cook Book in Colour, which was first published in 1968. It was the first cookery book I bought and I’ve used it extensively ever since.

The ingredients are the same as a Rich Dundee Cake (fruit cake). You put half the cake mixture into an 8 inch round cake tin, put a layer of marzipan on top of that and then add the remaining cake mixture. Bake for 2 to 2½ hours at 160°C or Gas 3. When cold brush the top with egg white or apricot jam and cover with a round of marzipan. Traditionally this is decorated with eleven marzipan balls, representing the eleven disciples (leaving out Judas), or sugared eggs, or chicks.

Originally Simnel Cake was made for Mothering Sunday, but it has now become an Easter Cake. Nigella Lawson’s beautiful book Feast: Food that Celebrates Life also has a recipe for Simnel Cake and she uses a light fruit cake mixture and after decorating the cake with marzipan she paints it all with egg white and blow-torches it to give it a burnished look. I haven’t tried that.

7 thoughts on “Weekend Cooking

  1. I love marzipan! You don’t see it as much in the U.S. as you do overseas. I guess making it into animals (or whatever) is quite an art form. I love to look at them but I think I would feel guilty (for a moment or two, anyway) to eat them!

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  2. I like several things you mentioned in your post. First I like that you are still using a cook book from 1968. It’s so good to have those old faithful books where you know you can count on the results.

    Another thing I like is that you have a traditional cake just for Easter. And, it has meaning just for Easter. I imagine it’s one that children enjoy seeing and everyone enjoys eating. It’s new to me so I enjoyed reading about it. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. What a nice tradition! I had never heard of Simnel cake before. And have never used marzipan although I hear the term frequently. A blow torch in the kitchen would be a bit much for me!

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  4. i do remember making this cake for church many years ago with a friend who’s mother is from England. Her family used to make it every year for Mothering Sunday

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  5. I really enjoyed reading about Simnel cake. I can’t believe you didn’t get out your blowtorch and have a go at it 🙂

    Reading your Weekend Cooking posts has inspired me to maybe join in. It’s a great subject and one that I think about a lot but rarely post on myself.

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