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For my first attempt at a Simnel Cake I used my Fruit Cake recipe, replacing the Dark Brown Sugar with Light Brown Muscovado sugar to make it a little bit lighter in flavour for Easter.

For the decoration I used a 500g block of White Marzipan and divided it into 5 parts.  I rolled 2 parts together into 1 ball for the middle and the same again for the top.  The final part I wrapped in clingfilm and put to one side.

I rolled out the two big balls of marzipan onto a sugared board to roughly the size of the cake tin.  I covered one in clingfilm so that it didn’t go hard and the other I put as a layer running through the middle of the cake batter before baking it.

Once baked and cooled I sliced the rounded top of the cake off and inverted the cake onto a cake board.  I brushed the bottom (now the top) with warmed apricot jam before unwrapping the second marzipan disk, cutting to size and putting on the top.  I used some leftover marzipan wrapped in clingfilm to smooth the surface and edges.

I used a patchwork quilter/cutter to impress a hatched pattern into the marzipan.  I then rolled out the final part of marzipan into a sausage and cut it into 12 equal parts.  11 parts of the sausage were rolled into little balls to go on the top of the cake and the final 12th part went in my tummy.

I then put the cake under the grill to lightly toast it.  I watched that marzipan like a hawk for what felt like eternity, and nothing happened.  I could sense my youngest was playing around with my cake bits box and worried there may be a sharp knife around I went to check on her.  I couldn’t have stepped away from that grill for more than 30 seconds, but when I came back the top looked like marzipan armageddon.  My husband was very kind and described it as ‘caramelised’, but I knew it was no good.  So, just as with the Christmas Cake, I stripped it all off and did it again.  This time I made sure the kids were safely occupied elsewhere, and I didn’t leave that grill for a moment.

I then went a bit OTT and decorated the top of the cake with sugarpaste daisies.  Now to most this may seem like an attempt to maybe inject some spring like girlishness into the humble Simnel cake (especially seeing how un-spring like the weather has been of late).  This is partly true.  But it is also to hide the fact that I made a great big divet down the middle of the cake by pressing to hard on the edge of the patchwork cutter when I was patterning the marzipan.  But with my carpet of daisies, no-one was any the wiser.