Simnel Cake - 2 Shrewsbury Recipes

RECIPE #1~

Ingredients:

1 1/4 sticks butter/margarine·
3/4 cup sugar·
2 cups flour·
1 1/2 tsp baking powder·
3 eggs·
3 cups mixed dried fruit·
1/2 cup chopped almonds·
1/2 cup cherries·
1/2 cup mixed peel·
2 tbsp milk·
1 tsp pumpkin spice

Almond Paste:
2 cups ground almonds·
1 cup powdered sugar·
1/2 cup sugar·
1 tsp lemon juice·
2 drops almond extract
1 beaten egg

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300F/150C
Cream butter and sugar together.
Sift flour, baking powder and pumpkin spice together.
One at a time, beat an egg and add it with a spoonful of flour into the butter/sugar.
Gently fold in all the other ingredients.
Make the almond paste: Mix almonds, powdered sugar and regular sugar together.
Add lemon juice, almond essence and enough egg to form a fairly dry paste.
Separate out enough almond paste to make 11 balls to decorate the top of the cake with.
Divide the remaining almond paste in half and roll out two 8 inch circles.
Put half the cake mixture into a greased 8-inch cake pan
Carefully place one almond paste circle on top of the cake mixture
Add the rest of the cake mixture on top of the almond paste layer
Bake in oven for 2-2 1/2 hours.
To test, gently press the cake with a finger; it should be firm.
Allow to cool in the tin for transferring to cake plate
When completely cool, top with the other almond paste circle and decorate with the little balls you made. The traditional way is to put the 11 balls around the top edge but many people decorate with a spring or Easter theme. You can shape the paste into flowers, leaves, butterflies, baby chicks, crosses...
Brush top marzipan with a beaten egg white and put cake under grill 1 or 2 minutes until you see it start to brown. Remove promptly.







RECIPE #2~

Ingredients:
3 oz butter or margarine
3 oz sugar
3 oz flour
milk
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
12 oz mixed dried fruit
3 oz glacé cherries
1 large pack of marzipan/almond paste
apricot jam or honey
Directions:
Preheat oven to 340F/170C
Grease a 8-inch round cake pan.
Line with waxed paper
Beat the butter and lemon zest together until very soft.
Add the sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy.
Slowly beat in the eggs.
Sift the flour with the mixed spice together in a separate bowl
Add the ground almonds, candied peel, currants, sultanas and glace cherries.
Fold all the ingredients together and set aside.
Spoon half of the mixture into the cake pan and smooth the surface.
Remove enough marzipan to make 11 balls to decorate the top of your cake with. Set aside.
Roll the remaining almond paste on a surface dusted with powdered sugar into two 7-inch circles.
Put one almond paste circle on top of the batter in the tin and set the other one aside.
Next cover with the remaining cake batter.
Smooth the surface and make a slight hollow in the middle
Brush lightly with cold water.
Wrap a double layer of brown paper around the outside of the pam and secure with a string
Bake for 1.25 hours.
Cover with grease-proof paper, lower the oven setting to 300F/150 C and bake for another 1.5 hours or until cooked to the centre.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 1 hour
Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Brush the top of the cake with jam
Top with the other marzipan circle that you made
Put the 11 balls in a circle along the edges of your cake or reshape them into spring or Easter shapes.
Brush the top marzipan with a beaten egg white and put it under the grill 1 or 2 minutes, just until it starts to brown. Remove promptly.



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