Simnel Cakelets

Sunday, 31 March 2013

What with today being Easter and all, I figured I'd better post an appropriate recipe. I tried to make hot cross buns last week, but was less than impressed with the results. Although they tasted fairly delicious, the recipe was time consuming (so much rising) to make... and to be honest, they taste just as good from the shop as they do from the oven. 

So, I scoured my recipe books for Easter-y recipes, and although the majority of the recipes were just for ordinary cakes or bakes with the word 'Easter' shoved in front and were topped with a couple of token mini eggs, this seemed like a genuine real life Easter recipe to try out. The recipe is from Cakes: River Cottage Handbook No. 8. The cakes turned out quite nicely, although I'd definitely put more marzipan in next time and eat less chocolate eggs while baking... they are quite rich, and the chocolate/cake combo defeated me. 


250g mixed dried fruit (I chucked in half a handful of mixed peel too)
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
250g self raising flour
1tsp ground mixed spice
1/2tsp grated nutmeg
175g caster sugar
175g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
3 eggs
75ml milk
300g marzipan (I used 200g and it wasn't enough...but it was all I had in the cupboard)
250g Glace icing (you can use less, I think I over did it on the icing front, it barely needs any, just for aesthetic purposes)
Easter-y food colouring (I used yellow!)

Something to decorate with... I opted for fluffy chicks and edible glitter.


Preheat the oven to GM4.

Mix the dried fruit and orange zest and juice in a bowl (you're supposed to leave the bowl in a warm place for an hour to plump up the fruit...but I'm far too impatient for that sort of thing).

Sift the flour and spices into a large mixing bowl and mix with the caster sugar. 

Add the butter, eggs and milk to the dry mixture and beat for 1 1/2 minutes, until light and fluffy (probably a little longer if you don't have an electric whisk). 

Fold in the fruit and orange juice mix and half fill muffin cases with the dough mixture. 

Roll and cut thin disks of marzipan and place on top of the mixture in the muffin cases.

 Spoon the remaining mixture over the top of the marzipan.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, until golden and springy. 
Leave to cool for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool. 

When cold top with glace icing and any decoration. The cakes keep for about a week (in a airtight container). 

What are your favourite Easter foods, bakes and recipes?

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