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Simnel Cake

225 g (8 oz) ground almonds
225 g (8 oz) caster sugar
100 g (4 oz) icing sugar
1 egg separated
Juice of 0.5 lemon
Few drops of yellow food colouring

175 g (6 oz) raisins
175 g (6 oz) sultanas
75 g (3 oz) cherries, chopped
75 g (3 oz) walnut pieces
120 ml (8 tbsp) stout
175 g (6 oz) butter, softened
175 g (6 oz) soft dark brown sugar
3 medium eggs
225 g (8 oz) plain flour
2.5 ml (0.5 tsp) baking powder
5 ml (1 tsp) mixed spice

Make the marzipan. Mix almonds and sugars. Add egg yolk, lemon
juice and food colouring. Mix to stiffish paste.

Wrap marzipan in film and place in refrigerator.

Place raisins, sultanas, cherries, walnuts and stout into a saucepan,
heat until steaming and then stand for 60 minutes. Cream the butter
and sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs.
Fold in the sieved flour, baking powder and spice. Carefully stir
in the soaked fruit and liquid.

Grease and base line a 18 cm (7 inch) deep cake tin, place half
the mixture into the tin and flatten out the mixture. Roll out one
third of the marzipan into a 18 cm (7 inch) circle, and place on
the top of the mixture in the tin and add remaining cake mixture.

Cook until pale golden and when a skewer is inserted into the centre
of the cake it comes out clean.

Fan oven: 140C 2-2.25 hours Conventional oven: preheat 160C 2-2.25
hours Gas oven: preheat Mark 3 2-2.25 hours

Leave cake to stand in tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto
a wire tray to cool.

When cold, remove greaseproof paper and brush top of cake with
apricot jam.

Roll out another piece of marzipan to fit top of cake and press in
position.

Score top of marzipan to make diamond pattern and brush with egg
white.

Roll the remaining marzipan into eleven even sized balls and press
around the outer edge, brush with egg white.

Place under grill and toast gently until golden brown.

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