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Simnel Cake


It’s as easy as ABC…

A. Grease and line a 9-inch cake tin. Sieve flour, salt, spice and cinnamon. Halve cherries and chop peel. Cream butter and sugar until pale and creamy, add lemon rind. Gradually beat in eggs. Add 3 tablespoons of flour towards end to prevent mixture curdling. Fold in remaining flour, fruit and enough milk to make a soft dropping consistency. Spoon half mixture into tin and spread evenly.

B. Make almond paste usual way (see Quick Tip below). Roll one half of paste to a 9-inch circle. Place on top of mixture in tin. Wrap remainder of paste in foil. Spoon in remaining mixture and hollow out centre slightly. Bake in an moderate oven for 30 minutes then in a very moderate oven for 2 1/2 hours. Cool in tin for 15 minutes. Turn out on to a wire tray. Remove paper.

C. Brush centre and edge of cake with apricot jam. Roll remaining almond paste into strips and plait; place around edge of cake and in the centre. Decorate with coloured eggs.

To make almond paste combine 10 oz. ground almonds with 10 oz. castor sugar, then mix to a stiff paste with juice of half a lemon and one large egg.

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