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The perfect Easter decorated Simnel cake with crystallised edible flowers and mini chocolate eggs

Charlie

Easter Simnel cake with edible crystallised flowers

I must say I hadn’t really heard of Simnel cake until a few years ago, and I certainly haven’t ever tried one.  But I do love traditions, and Simnel cake is often eaten over Easter.  I particularly love the way this one, created by TNWC business Eat My Flowers, is decorated – both the colours (yellow and purple), the little pile of chocolate eggs, and those beautiful crystallised edible spring flowers.

Sarah who runs Eat My Flowers shared her recipe for this Simnel cake and I thought it would be a nice thing to share with you all.  Many of us who life making things, often like making sweet treats, so I thought you wouldn’t mind a recipe.  Even if you don’t fancy making a Simnel cake, you could always take inspiration from the way Eat My Flowers decorated it, and use this on an Easter cake of your choice.

According to Sarah from Eat My Flowers, “the cake is made with 11 balls of marzipan icing on top representing the 11 disciples. (Judas is not included.) Traditionally, sugar violets would also be added.  Simnel cake is very easy to make and because of the extra layer of marzipan is very moist and keeps well.”  Her recipe is from Mary Berry.

Simnel Cake

175g light muscavado sugar
175g butter, softened
175g self raising flour
3 large eggs
25g ground almonds
2 tbsp milk
100g sultanas
100g cherries, quartered, washed and dried
100g dried apricots, snipped into small pieces
100g stem ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp ground ginger

To serve:
450g golden/natural marizpan
3 tbsp apricot jam
1 egg, beaten

To decorate:
Edible flowers such as primroses, cowslips and violets
Egg white
Caster sugar

Alternatively you could buy you crystallised flowers online from Eat My Flowers

1. Preheat oven to 160°C / 320F / Gas 3.

2. Grease and line the base and sides of an 20cm / 8in deep, round cake tin with baking parchment.

3. Measure all the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat well until thoroughly blended. Place half the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.

4. Take one third of the marzipan and roll into a circle the same size as the cake tin, place the circle on top of the cake mixture. Spoon the remaining mixture on top of the marzipan and level the surface.

5. Bake for about one and three-quarter to two hours or until golden brown and firm in the middle. If toward the end of the cooking time the cake is getting too brown, loosely cover with a piece of foil. Allow the cake to cool in the tin before turning onto a cooling rack.

6. When the cake is cool. Brush the top with a little warmed apricot jam. Roll out half the remaining marzipan to the size of the cake and sit it on the top. Make 11 even sized balls from the remaining marzipan and arrange around the edge.

7. Brush with beaten egg and glaze under a hot grill for about five minutes, turning the cake round so it browns evenly, so the marzipan is tinged brown all over. (You can also do this with a blow torch if preferred).

8. To crystallise the flowers, lightly whisk the egg white in a bowl then carefully brush over the flower petals.  Sprinkle over caster sugar so the sugar sticks to the egg white. Leave to harden in a warm place, such as a shelf above a radiator or in an airing cupboard, until dry and firm.  Carefully remove from the rack and arrange in the centre of the cake.

Sarah’s short cuts: You don’t have to grill the cake it is just more traditional.  If you don’t have apricots or stem ginger replace quantity with other dried fruit.  If you forget the middle layer of marzipan, don’t panic just cook and put just on top instead.  Fresh edible flowers look pretty but won’t last as long.  I like to finish it with a ribbon to really make it look lovely.

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