Friday 29 March 2013

Easter Simnel Bundt Cake

Easter Simnel Bundt Cake
This is a true story. Mary Berry once told me that 'life is too short to make your own marzipan'. Not my words. They are the words of the queen of baking. Heard by my very own ears.

Most people either love it or hate it; the marmite of the baking world. I don't really mind it either way as long as it's used wisely. For example, my friend Heather made a cracking stollen at Christmas and it went perfectly with the festive flavours. I hate it when it's stuck between a thick layer of sugar-paste and a slab of boozy fruit cake - yak!

A few weeks ago, my friends at Renshaw set me the task of sprucing up the traditional Easter Simnel cake. They even sent me some goodies! What lovely cakey people they are. You all know what I was thinking. I also wanted to keep some of the tradition whilst making it my very own. I find Simnel cake a bit 'pah' and dry (yes, that is a very technical baking term). Luminous marzipan on a rock like fruit cake. Nah. I used the Renshaw golden marzipan from my pack. It doesn't glow in the dark or anything. 

So the cake alchemy began! I set myself a brief. 
  1. Moisture
  2. Flavour
  3. Tradition 
In that order. I'm going to be honest with you. I had a sniff of an idea and ran with it. I was basically making it up as I threw the ingredients into the mixer! I came up with a recipe that used the same ingredients as the traditional cake, but I wanted to change the texture. The addition of yogurt will always make a moist cake. I also reduced the amount of fruit, but feel free to add another 50g if you're really keen.
Renshaw Marzipan
The finished result was a perfectly moist cake with that signature bundt sugar crust. The marzipan wasn't sticky, and moulded over my star bundt an absolute treat! Very easy to use and yummy to boot. 

So this is how to make my version of an Easter Simnel cake...

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 350g plain flour
  • 200g of mixed dried fruit (whatever you fancy!)
  • 1.5 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 250ml lemon yogurt
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 egg for glazing
  • Pack of Renshaw marzipan 

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 c
  2. Grease and flour a regular sized bundt tin (2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch)
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. On a slow speed add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
  6. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, spice, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  7. Mix the dried fruit into the flour mix and stir. A good coating of flour will help to stop them sinking to the bottom of the cake.
  8. Sift in a third of the flour mix (yes, the fruit will get 'caught' in the sieve!) followed by half of the yogurt. Repeat until all the flour and yogurt is used up.
  9. Stir in the dried fruit, which will now be covered in flour.
  10. Give a quick mix on a medium speed for about 10 seconds.
  11. Pour the mix into a greased and floured tin. Push into any nooks and crannies! 
  12. Tip: don't worry too much about the fruit touching the tin. It won't stick and most will be covered later anyway.
  13. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and it is shrinking from the tin slightly. 
  14. Leave it to cool in the tin for ten minutes then turn out.
  15. Allow to cool fully.

For the covering:
  1. Melt a little apricot jam in the microwave until it's runny and leave to one side.
  2. Lightly dust your work surface with icing sugar.
  3. Roll out your marzipan to about 5mm thick.
  4. Put your bundt tin on top of the rolled out marzipan and cut round it - you may have to be artistic where the handles are (if there are any).
  5. The hole will be too small, so make it a little bigger with a biscuit cutter. 
  6. Cover the top of the bundt with the melted apricot jam. This is your glue!
  7. Gently lift the marzipan and place centrally over the bundt cake. 
  8. Tease it into place so it picks up the contours of the cake. 
  9. With the remaining marzipan make 11 little balls and place them on top of the cake. These are said to represent the 11 apostles.
  10. Confession: I only did 10 as my OCD is much stronger than my faith.
  11. Cover the tips of the marzipan with a little beaten egg.
  12. Place under a preheated grill until the marzipan just starts to brown.
  13. Pop a garish coloured plastic chick on it and you are all ready for Easter! 
Where to buy this stuff:
Cake Release

Renshaw Marzipan

Disclaimer: Renshaw sent me a box of goodies to try, but I was under no obligation to use them or say I liked them. I did though. They were ace!

BloggersPlease respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page. 
Please see my Creative Commons Copyright information for more details. Thank you.

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  1. I love this idea! What a beautiful bundt.

  2. Beautiful. Really beautiful x

    1. Thank you! I don't really do much decorating so I tried to keep it simple x

  3. Fantastic looking cake! Very neat marzipan :) I got the same goodie pack from Renshaw too, looking forward to some marzipan experiments!

    1. I really enjoyed the cake too! A little belter!

  4. This looks awesome Rachel, a really really great twist on the Simnel cake. Love it :)


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