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SIMNEL CAKE
Serves 10-12.

100g / 4 oz butter
100g / 4 oz caster sugar
3 eggs beaten
150g / 5 oz plain flour, sifted with a pinch of baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
450g / 1lb mixed currants, raisins and sultanas
50g / 2 oz chopped glace cherries
50g / 2 oz chopped peel
100g / 4 oz ground almonds
2 tablespoons rum
apricot jam
1 egg for glaze
Almond paste
100g / 4 oz caster sugar
100g / 4 oz ground almonds
1 egg beaten
1 tsp almond essence

To make the paste, mix all the ingredients thoroughly together and
then knead the almond paste for 2 minutes. Roll out a 1/3rd to make
a circle for the top of the cake with the rest make them into 11
egg shapes.

Line a 10 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Place the butter and sugar into a very large bowl and stir until
completely blended, add the eggs and sifted flour with the baking
powder, salt and mixed spice.

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until everything is
completely blended.

Let the mixture settle for 1 hour and give it a final stirring.

Put the mixture into the cake tin, and cover top with a piece of
greaseproof paper.

Heat the oven to Circotherm 160, gas 3, 170C/325F.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes. Lower the heat to
Circotherm 100, gas 1, 140C/275F for 2 hours.

Remove the cake and allow the cake to cool completely before you
remove it from the tin.

Remove the paper. Turn the cake over and glaze with the apricot
jam. Top with the rolled out almond paste trimming the edge, top
with the small eggs and glaze with the egg and bake in the centre
of the oven circotherm 170, gas 4, 180c / 350f for 10 minutes remove
and the cake will keep for 1 month if wrapped in cooking foil and
placed in a sealed tin...

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