Nielsen-Massey Easter simnel loaf cake

  • Total Time

    2h 25m
    • Prep Time

      40m
    • Bake Time

      1h 45m
  • Serves

    12
  • Skill Level

    Intermediate
  • Dietary Needs

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A wonderful fruit cake that would surely be a welcome treat in any household this Easter.

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 160°C, (fan 140°C, gas mark 3). Pour the Cointreau into a bowl and add the fruits, ginger, juice and zest to soak up the alcohol.

  2. Meanwhile, grease and line the base of a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Unroll the marzipan and cut out a rectangle the length and size of the loaf tin. Set aside until needed.

  3. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste together in the bowl with an electric mixer.

  4. Add the eggs, flour, ground almonds, mixed spice and milk and whisk further until you reach a smooth consistency. Finally stir in the fruit mixture with the liquid.

  5. Pour half the cake mixture into the loaf tin, then cover with the layer of marzipan. Top with the remaining cake mixture and smooth the top.

  6. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 45 minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  7. Gently heat the jam until liquid. Dust a work surface with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan to 1cm thick and trim so it's a little bigger than the tin.

  8. Use the trimmings to form 11 small balls. Brush the top of the cake with jam, and lay the marzipan rectangle on top. Crimp the edges with your fingers and dot the balls around the cake evenly, securing with more warm jam. Serve as it is, or caramelise the marzipan with a blow torch, or under a hot grill.

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