Easter Cake

Also known as Simnel Cake, a rich fruit cake to celebrate the end of lent which this year will be Good Friday, 22nd of April in England, Scotland, Wales & Ireland.

As with all rich fruit cakes it is best made in advance and it would be traditional to make it before lent started in order to give it a proper ‘maturing time’ The five main times of feasting, an escape from the dull day-to-day fare were Easter, Whitsun, May Day, Harvest Home and of course Christmas.

Traditionally at these times there was a brief respite from the arduous business of just living to savour those normally unattainable gastronomic highlights normally reserved for the wealthier classes.

It was an opportunity to let the hair down, dance, sing, carouse. The Simnel cake would be enriched with eggs, fruit, sugar, marzipan and garnished with gold and silver sugar balls.

For best results, a long, slow baking time is advised which requires certain measures to ensure that the cake doesn’t dry out.

Since it should have a level surface when cooked it is necessary to hollow a dip in the centre of the cake with the back of a wooden spoon before baking.

Wrapping the tin in a ‘collar’ of brown paper will prevent the sides from becoming dry as will placing the tin on a baking tray covered in cooking salt.

During cooking the top should be regularly brushed with cold water for the same reason.

In recent years ready-made sugar decorations, small chicks, eggs, flowers etc. have been available in the shops for the final decoration but it is always fun , if you have the time or the kids are bored, to make your own then so much the better.

Like all feasts and fests, the more the involvement, the more fun can be had!

This entry was posted in Bakery, Cakes, Easter and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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