Granny and Grumps are coming for Easter and we are looking forward to seeing them again, lots of food has been prepared in their honour of coming including an Easter Simnel cake. However the last two years i have subjected them to pretty awful fruit cake.
I made a Christmas cake from a female celebrity chef which turned out more like alcoholic bread pudding than Christmas cake, and last years Simnel cake from a BBC food site was so dry it was almost hard to swallow. They were so nice and ate it anyway and i vowed that i need to crack the fruit cake recipe ignoring celebrity chefs and spending time comparing recipes, at Christmas i made a really great Christmas cake from my own recipe and i was very happy, but we didn't get to share it with granny and grumps.
Now Easter is almost here and i wanted to have another crack at the Simnel cake to try and redeem myself so looked over my Christmas recipe and tweeked it alot to fit a light Easter fruit cake, i put a lot of thought into the cake and even up'd the amount of marzipan in the centre as Ali is a marzipan monster and said i was stingy last year. I even added my very last jar of Boozy fruit from Christmas which is now very well matured.
After the long wait of 2 hours 30 mins in the oven and waiting for it to cool long enough for it to come out of the pan, i was so nervous i had bombed again as the thick wedge of marzipan i had put in made the cake seem as if it was still raw even though the cake appeared perfect and i almost destined it for the bin... Lucky Ali was with me as the sense of reason to my hysteria of failings (note to self be more confident) and i wrapped it up and left it till morning to pass judgement hence the tasting slice taken out of the cake. By morning everything had cooled down and the marzipan set and the cake was a thumbs up from all of us. So i got cracking to decorate it and when i asked Ali what he thought he made me laugh and said it looks like something from an Alien movie with all the eggs. Just hope that granny and grumps like this one as they are seasoned oldies to fruit cake.
Well if your looking for a recipe to try, here is my very own. Although i might have done a duff job at selling it to you to try with all my previous failings but this is i can assure a scrummy cake.
cook at 150 for 2 hours then 30 min oven off
225g plane flour
200g golden caster sugar
4 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice
100g dark 70% chocolate broken into small pieces
1 pot full of boozy fruit
2 packs of natural marzipan
eggs to decorate
Cream the sugar and butter together
add 1tbsp of flour and a bit of egg and then a bit more flour and then egg untill both are all gone
add all the salt and spices, chocolate and fruit mix in by hand.
grease and paper line your pan and then add a layer of cake mix as my little chef is demonstrating
Open a pack of marzipan and roll out to a circle that will fit your pan, i used a whole pack this year and it gave a lovely wedge in the cake last year i used 1/2 a pack and everyone moaned that it wasn't enough be warned this might make you think the cake isn't cooked when you do the prick test so look closely at the skewer to see if its cake mix or marzipan. Cover the top of the cake mix with grease proof paper and and put in the oven at 150 for 2 hours, after this i turned to oven off and left the cake in there for 30 - 45 mins i skewer tested and the popped it out of the pan and wrapped in cling film to retain the moisture and left overnight to cool completely. I then used a second pack of marzipan to cover the cake using apricot jam to stick it on and decorated with eggs.