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easter and sugar overload ...

Inbetween shifts at work this week, I managed to fit in making a Simnel cake. I've always wanted to make one, and for my first attempt I was a bit chuffed at how it turned out.

I took the recipe from Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book, one of the first ever books I bought when J and I set up home together in the eighties from the Lakeland Plastics catalogue. No internet ordering in those days!

I didn't really have the time to be too fussy with its appearance, ending up using a more rustic approach.

I wanted to put the eleven balls of almond paste (marzipan) on the top, each representing the eleven apostles (excluding Judas) present at The Last Supper.

I have every other Thursday off work, and must admit to feeling a bit jammy today. After the foul weather of yesterday, in complete contrast out came the sun.

Perfect for taking photos.

Talking of feeling jammy, a few week's back I was lucky enough to win one of Simone's lovely giveaway crochet jam-jar covers. They are made to fit a Bonne Maman jam-jar, but not having one mine is just slipped over a glass, perfect for these eleven tiny narcissi I picked from my garden.

Simone sent me the one in Cornishware colours!

I made my own almond paste (marzipan), and a recipe is in the book too. It's so much nicer than the shop bought stuff, very easy to make, and you can store it in the fridge wrapped in cling until you need it.

All you need to make about 1.5lb is 8oz ground almonds, 8oz caster sugar, 8oz icing sugar, two whole eggs and 6 drops of almond essence. Once mixed, knead lightly.

A layer of almond paste is placed inbetween the cake mix, and once baked gives the cake a moist pudding-like texture.

For the complete Mary Berry golden look, brush the top with egg and finish off for a few seconds under a hot grill.

I had my family over this afternoon for a cup of tea and slice of cake (Worzel Gummidge), and for those not keen on dried fruit and marzipan, there was Coffee Sponge.

Made in the style of a Mary Berry traybake, but in a round tin not rectangle, as I couldn't wait to try out the round cake tin liners I bought the other day from Julian Graves.

If you love baking, check out Simone's Friday Cake Bake. I haven't been able to join in the fun 'cos I work that day, but lots of others have.

Happy Easter weekend everyone!



Simone said...

I love simnel cake! I may make something along those lines but have bought ready made marzipan. You are very good at making your own and a coffee sponge too! My, you have been busy. I think the jar cover looks really nice with the daffodils and simnel cake. Happy Easter Louise! x

LizzieJane said...

I love simnel cake too! My mother used to get angry with me because I kept eating all the marzipan while she was making the cake. Just love Marzipan! Your cake looks very yummy!
Have a wonderful Easter.

Naturegirl said...

Mmmmm..looks and sound delicious!!!
I have a sweet tooth right now ...if I move closer to the screen perhaps I can taste it!
Wishing you a Happy Easter!!
Nice to meet you..just noticed your comment on one of my posts! :) anna

silverpebble said...

Ooh your Simnel cake looks beautiful, especially alongside the little crochet pot of daffodils. There are a lot of VERY pretty photo opportunities at this time of year aren't there?

violet ~ creme said...

Hello! I've read your blog for so long it's about time I commented. The cake looks delicios, I have my own one sat on the sideboard but alas, I have already sneaked an apostle already. A habit since childhood!

Wild Rose said...

Happy Easter Louise. Thanks for your message of support on my blog. Life is very busy, but the placement is going well. I'm looking forward to being finished and able to return home though...and to having a chance to return to blogging....

Enjoy that delicious cake.

Marie x

Sarah said...

Happy Easter - the cake looks so scrummy. I haven't made simnel cake for years.x

twiggypeasticks said...

I am super impressed Louise, as I like baking but I'm still a bit scared of making cakes :)I always think hmm when I grow up I'll have a go at making my own Christmas cakes but at the ripe old age of 40 still rely on my MIL to make one! I love simnel cake as I LOVE marzipan. My MIL usually makes one at Easter and last year Mr Twigs and my naughty brother in law got into trouble as they removed the marziapn balls and piled them up in a pyramid shape. Naughty boys !!!
Have a great Easter my friend.
Twiggy x

Cowboys and Custard said...

Well I am impressed Louise...
The last time I made a Simnel cake was when I was 12 years old in my Home Economics lesson.
Your cake looks very delicious and I hope you enjoyed tucking in to it.. Home made cakes always taste so much better than shop cakes.. Well... some do. Not mine unfortunately!

Have a wonderful Easter and thank you so much for your lovely card.

Michele xx

Louise said...

I am so happy you popped over to say hello Violet-Creme, and thanks for being an avid follower of my blog! Happy Easter. x

...... Kristina ...... said...

Oh Louise!

It looks wonderful! i am on weight watchers and i nearly licked the screen haha! oh i can imagine the smell when you cut into it yummy.
Happy Easter to your home from ours with much love,
Love Kristina XxX

Toby Tea Cozy said...

Looks mouth watering!

Lucy Bloom said...

Hope you're enjoying the weekend too, Louise, yummy cakes - mine came from Sainsbury!
Lucy x

Christy said...

Mmmm so tempting and mouthwatering! It looks perfect Louise!

Ragged Roses said...

Hope you're having a wonderful Easter, quick, the sun is shining - hope you get to enjoy some of the rays... I've always wanted to make Simnel cake too, yours looks delicious

Devon Dumpling said...

Hiya Louise,
Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. I am looking forward to having a good 'nose' at your blog; I love discovering new blogs! Happy Easter! Love Hannah xx

periwinkle said...

i lurve marzipan and your cake looks scrummy. All your kitchen is gonna match soon lol

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Louise

I love marzipan so I would have a big piece of your delicious cake if I could!

Your mini daffosils look so pretty in that knit wrapped glass -- very sunny and cheerful!

I hope you had avery Happy Easter!

Charli and me said...

Hi Louise, Happy Easter! I have never heard of that cake. I love the idea and it looks delicious. I also like the video you posted. Thank you so much for the kind comments. Charli is doing better. We do worry about those animals of ours. They become such cherished members of our family.

skippinginthemeadow said...

love simnel cake :o) yours looks divine!
sorry to be a bit belated with my easter wishes, have had sick pets..they are ok now though.

warm wishes xxx


Glo said...

Your cake looks and sounds delicious! I bet there's not even a crumb left by now. Lovely daffodils as well ~ Looks like your Easter was yummy good!

Rosie said...

Lovely cakes, Louise - and your flowers look pretty in the glass with Simone's crochet cover - just the right colour:) Hope you had a lovely Easter holiday:)

lifeinredshoes said...

Well look at you! The cake looks wonderful and I have never before heard of a jam jar cover. I may have to attempt it.

Lynn said...

I have never had simnel cake, but if it tastes as good as it looks.....yummy!

JuicyFig said...

Love the cake! I made one for my Gran once, who being a bit of a marzipan fiend, ate the 'appostles' because she couldn't fit them under the grill...v poor excuse grandma!