Simnel Cake

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by Grownup_Rafbrat, Mar 6, 2009.

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  1. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    I have found a recipe for Simnel Cake, which my Easter Guests have said they would appreciate eating. I hate marzipan, so I'll be giving it a miss.

    Anyway, what I can't find is answers to two questions:

    1. How long in advance it's cooked,
    2. Whether you need to 'feed' it like you do a Christmas Cake, or whether the feeding would spoil the layer of marzipan through the middle.

    Can any arrse cooks advise please?
  2. Simnel cakes were traditionally baked on Mothering Sunday, but now tend to be Easter cakes. I don't think that they really need keeping to mature for long as they are light fruit cakes rather than the heavy ones at Christmas. I tend to do mine a week before I want it and do the top decoration the day before.
    I have never 'fed' mine because of the marzipan layer. However I have given mine extra (alcoholic!) moistness by soaking the fruit in brandy overnight before cooking the cake.
    Hope this helps.
  3. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    Many thanks, Edna, I'll go for the 'soaking' option.

    I hadn't realised the cakes had changed dates - I thought they were named after Lambert Simnel, a baker's son who made a good job of being a pretender to the throne of England,
    and the 11 blobs of Marzipan on top represented the 11 loyal disciples left after Judas's Great Easter Sell-Out.

    You learn something new every day!
  4. I think they were always Easter cakes like you say.
    I believe a tradition started for them to be made by young girls that had gone into service to take home as a gift on Mothering Sunday. The making of the cake allowed then to show off the new skills that they had learned and Mothering Sunday happened to be the first time they would have been allowed to come home.
    Hope yours comes out well. Edna.