Well Easter is only just finished and finally there is some warmer sunlight peeping through, hopefully spring is on its way?!
Over Easter I was thinking about what holiday gift I might be able to give to the family when we meet together. A homemade gift seemed to me to be the best plan and being that my Mum cherishes all feeling of occasion and family gathering; this gave me an idea of how to bless her and make something enjoyable for everyone. Cake!
A Simnel cake is traditionally made for Easter to celebrate New Life. A lush fruit cake topped in marzipan, decorated with flowers or 11 round marzipan balls representing the apostles minus Judas.
So great! Full of meaning, Mum would love that and everyone else adores marzipan, only one problem I don’t have the money nor time to create the original recipe.
I looked into the cupboards there was a few raisins, several tins of pineapples, and half a bag of self-raising flour, a wee bit of sugar, honey and eggs. No butter, not enough eggs and not enough fruit. So I became daring and chose a muffin mixture recipe for my cake: carrot cake muffin with small pineapple chunks. It tasted great! Here is the recipe:
24 oz self-raising flower
8 oz sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsb honey
6 fl oz milk
6 fl oz vegetable oil
4-5 large sized carrots grated
150 g small chunks of cored pineapple
4 oz rasin
Preheat oven to 190 c, put all the dry mixture in a bowl together. In a new bowl combine the milk, oil and honey. Then put in the eggs and with a fork whisk them lightly. Add all together including the raisins, pineapple and grated carrot and whisk/mix further with all the ingredients. (Important thing to note is to not over mix or it will turn to a batter and the consistency will be heavy. If you have sprinkles of unmixed flour that’s ok.)
spoon into a large tin that has been well greased or lined. Cook till brown all over check 30 mins in with a skewer if it comes out clean it is finished if not put back in on a slightly lower temp and check until the skewer is clean. Turn out to cool and decorate.
Tip: over time it got moister, so if your preference is warm and fluffy eat it on the day, if you like a less dry mixture you could even let it rest for a day.
I topped the cake in white marzipan (look in the shops for white/neutral – simply no extra colourings like the traditional yellow colour). I had good fun with 2 flowers shaped plunger cutting tools, some shiny coloured dustings, decorating balls, crystals and some flat leaf cutters mixed with the use of modelling tools. See the video for some great easy ideas and techniques!
I really was genuinely relived and happy that I could still give my Mum and family this little token, love gift, so full of meaning and tastiness and it had the impact I wanted it was a lovely family dinner and one of real occasion!
And to sing you out this is a couple of verses from an Easter hymn I took inspiration from. Let me know if you give the recipe a try!
“The shade and gloom of life are fled this resurrection day; Henceforth in Christ are no more dead, The grave hath no more prey.
And every bird and every tree, And every opening flower, Proclaim His glorious victory, His resurrection power.”