175g (6 oz) sultanas

85g (3 oz) currants

85g (3 oz) glace cherries, roughly chopped

25g (1 oz) mixed peel

175g (6 oz) butter, softened

175g (6 oz) soft light brown sugar

3 eggs

175g (6 oz) self raising flour

1tsp mixed spice

 

 

Topping

350g (12 oz) marzipan

1tbsp apricot jam

1 egg white, lightly beaten

 

 

How to make it…

 

Place all the dried fruits in a bowl and pour over just enough boiling water to cover them. Leave to soak for at least half an hour so that they plump-up a bit.

 

Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Now beat in the eggs one-by-one then stir in the flour, spice and drained fruit.

 

Line a 17.5cm (7”) diameter deep cake tin with Bake-O-Glide or baking parchment. Roll-out one third of the marzipan to form a 17.5cm (7”) circle. Spoon half the cake mixture into the tin then top with the circle of marzipan. Add the rest of the mixture and gently level, then create a slight dip in the centre so that the cake rises level without a peak.

 

2, 3, 4 or 5 Oven AGA: Cook in the Simmering Oven on the centre set of runners for 4 - 7 hours until a skewer inserted diagonally into the cake comes out clean. Slide in the cold Plain Shelf immediately above the tin once the cake has browned sufficiently to prevent over-browning.

 

Conventional oven: Cook at 150˚C/ Gas 2 for 2 - 2 ½ hours until a skewer inserted diagonally into the cake comes out clean.

 

Allow the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely.

 

Meanwhile, divide the remaining marzipan into two halves and roll one piece into another 17.5cm (7”) circle. Brush the top of the cooled cake with apricot jam then cover with the marzipan circle.

 

Roll the remaining marzipan into eleven balls. Brush the top of the cake with lightly beaten egg white then gently press the balls into place around the edge of the cake, spacing them as evenly as you can (it’s tricky with an odd number!).Now brush the balls with egg white too.

 

2, 3, 4 or 5 Oven AGA: Wrap a collar of Bake-O-Glide or foil around the cake and grill in the Roasting Oven on the highest possible set of runners for a few minutes until the top has just browned. Watch it carefully as it can quickly burn. Allow to cool then serve.

 

Conventional oven: Pre-heat the grill and then grill the cake for 1 – 2 minutes until the top has just browned. Watch it carefully as it can quickly burn. Allow to cool then serve.

Simnel cake

s i m o n   b r o w n . t v