Mother’s Day Simnel Cake (Old N' Traditional)
There is a Jewish proverb that says ‘God could not be everywhere, so he made mothers’.
There cannot be a more apt way to describe what a mother does for her young ones. This mother’s day it is time to make her something special for all the special things she had been doing for us all these years.
In the old days, ‘Mothering Sunday’ was a time put aside for relaxation and enjoyment during the long Lenten fast. It is what we now know as ‘Mother’s day’. In those days young girls often worked or served as maids in rich households to fend for their families. However come the 'Mothering Sunday', they were given time off by their masters to visit their mothers on this special day and they would bake a simnel cake to present as a gift.
As you good folks all know, I’m a no-egg-in-the-cake veggie and love my egg free cakes here is a delightful and lovely simnel cake recipe that is fruity and delicious.
Simnel Cake Recipe
• 110g/4oz butter or margarine
• 110g/4oz soft brown sugar
• egg substitue, equivalent to 3 eggs
• 150g/5oz plain flour
• pinch of salt
• ½ tsp ground mixed spice (optional)
• 350g/12oz mixed raisins, currants and sultanas
• 55g/2oz chopped mixed peel
• ½ lemon, grated rind only
• 1-2 tbsp apricot jam
• butter, melted, for glazing
For the almond paste: (Marzipan)
• 125g/4oz caster sugar
• 125g/4oz ground almonds
• ½ tsp almond essence
• egg substitute
• To make the almond paste: place the sugar and ground almonds in a bowl.
• Add enough egg substitute to give a fairly soft consistency.
• Add the almond essence and knead for a minute until the paste is smooth and pliable.
• Roll out a third of the almond paste to make a circle 18cm/7in in diameter and reserve the remainder for topping of the cake.
• Preheat oven to 140C/275F.
• To make the cake: cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
• Gradually beat in the egg substitute until well incorporated and then sift in the flour, salt and spice (if using) a little at a time.
• Finally, add the dried fruit, peel and grated lemon rind and mix into the mixture well.
• Put half the mixture in a greased and lined 18cm/7in cake tin.
• Smooth the top and cover with the circle of almond paste.
• Add the rest of the cake mixture and smooth the top leaving a slight dip in the centre to allow for the cake to rise.
• Bake in the preheated oven for 1½ hours.
• Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
• When you are ready to decorate the cake, preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
• Brush the top of the cooled cake with the apricot jam.
• Divide the remainder of the almond paste into two; roll out a circle to cover the top of the cake with one half and form 11 small balls with the other half.
• Place the circle of paste on the jam and set the balls round the edge.
• Return the cake to the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or long enough for the almond paste to brown.
This recipe for simnel cake serves 10 to 12 individuals. Adjust the proportion of the ingredients to your serving needs and enjoy!