Hannah Bond will be back with more seasonal recipes soon, but in the meantime, here’s a perfect recipe to try for Easter – a stunning Simnel Cake taken from Modern Baker: A New Way To Bake by Melissa Sharp with Lindsay Stark.
This Month: Modern Baker Simnel Cake
Makes: 1 x 20 cm round cake
Equipment: 20 cm round, deep, loose-bottom cake tin
This Simnel cake goes down a treat in the lead up to Easter. Apart from upgrading many of the ingredients for better health, our twist is the addition of goji berries and a few of our favourite spices. The use of dried berries and fruits adds chew and important fibre. Don’t put too much on your plate – this is a rich one!
- 175 g unsalted butter
- 175 g coconut sugar
- 3 eggs
- 175 g spelt flour
- 175 g sultanas
- 90 g dried cranberries
- 30 g dried goji berries
- zest of 1 lemon, grated
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of salt
- Raw marzipan (see below)
- Honey or melted butter, for brushing
- Edible flowers, such as nasturtiums and violets, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/Gas mark 3–4 and line a 20 cm round, deep, loose-bottom cake tin with baking parchment.
- Put all the ingredients into a large bowl. With an electric whisk, beat them together until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 1V–2 hours until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
- Once it’s cool, use the cake tin as a template to cut out a round disc of raw marzipan.
- Brush a little melted butter or honey over the top of the cake and lay the marzipan disc on top.
- Use the remaining marzipan to make 11 equal-size balls to decorate the top of the cake. You can use honey to stick these on as well.
- Top the cake with edible flowers such as nasturtiums and violets, raw marzipan
Raw Marzipan GF, DF, V
Our raw marzipan is quick and easy to make, with the maple syrup helping to keep the delicious almond flavour. If you particularly like your marzipan, and I really do, you can also add a few drops of almond extract.
- 340 g ground almonds
- 3–4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2–3 drops of almond extract (optional)
- Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill until ready to use.
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment to 2–3 mm. You don’t want to use flour to stop it sticking to the surface, and the paper will also make it easier to pick up.
Modern Baker: A New Way To Bake by Melissa Sharp with Lindsay Stark (Ebury Press, RRP £26). Photography by Laura Edwards.