|Marzipan||400 Gram (About Two 200 Gram Packets)|
|Flour||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Rice flour||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Pinch salt||1 Large|
|Baking powder||1⁄4 Teaspoon|
|Raisins||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Currants||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Chopped candied peel||2 Tablespoon|
|Grated lemon peel||2 Teaspoon|
|Castor sugar||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Eggs||4 , separated|
|Warmed jam||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs), sieved|
|Beaten egg||1 (To Finish)|
|Icing sugar||1 Cup (16 tbs), sifted|
|Vanilla essence||1 Teaspoon|
|Hot water||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (Use As Required)|
Grease and line a deep 20 cm round cake tin. Set the oven at moderate 180C(350F). Roll one piece marzipan out and cut to a round to fit the inside of the cake tin. Repeat with second piece of marzipan. Set circles and trimmings aside. Sift the flours, salt and baking powder together and mix in the fruits and peel. Cream the butter with the lemon 45 rind until soft and add the sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks. Whip the egg whites until stiff, then fold the flour mixture and egg whites alternately into the butter mixture. Put half the cake mixture into the prepared tin, level it out and cover with a circle of marzipan, then put in the rest of the cake mixture.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hours, then reduce to 150C (300F); cover the tin with a double thickness of greased foil or greaseproof paper and cook for about 30 minutes more, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool a little in the tin, then turn out, slide it on to a baking sheet and cool the cake completely. When quite cold, brush the top of the cake with a little warmed jam and place the second circle of marzipan on top, pressing it down well. Roll the reserved marzipan into 11 balls and arrange round the edge, securing each with a dab of beaten egg, and tie a band of foil round the sides of the cake to hold them in position. Place the cake in a hot oven 200C (400F), or under the grill for a few minutes, to brown the tops of the balls. Remove and cool.
ICING: Mix icing sugar with a few drops of vanilla and just enough hot water to give a smooth paste, and stir over simmering water until glossy. Pour the icing over the centre of the cake and decorate, if you wish, with Easter decorations such as chicks or tiny marzipan eggs, tinted with food coloring. Note: Without the marzipan and special decorations, the mixture for Simnel Cake makes an excellent, well-flavored fruit cake for any time of the year. The egg whites, stiffly beaten and added separately, give it a crusty outside. The top may be iced or decorated with almonds or walnuts, and V2 cup nuts may be added to the mixture. Like all rich fruit cakes, it improves in both flavor and texture with keeping, so long as it is stored in an airtight tin.
'Simnel' probably came from the name of a fine wheat flour used by the Romans, while the 11 marzipan balls represent all the apostles except Judas.