Wendy Barrie's simnel cake recipe with Spiced Orkney Rum

The Scottish Food Guide editor, campaigner and cook, shares her traditional recipe

Cake ingredients

100g butter

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100g soft brown sugar

3 eggs

125g white flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 level tsp mixed spice

I measure of J Gow Spiced Orkney Rum

625g assorted vine fruits

25g almonds – broken up

1 lemon, zest only

1 orange, zest only

1 grated apple – no need to peel

beaten egg to glaze

apricot jam to glaze

Almond paste ingredients

200g ground almonds

200g caster sugar

1 egg

a splash of Spiced Orkney Rum

1 Line the base and sides of a 17cm round tin with parchment.

2 Place all almond paste ingredients in a bowl and work together into a dough using your hand. Set aside.

3 Preheat the oven to 175°C.

4 To make the cake, mix all the fruit and nut elements together in a bowl.

5 Cream the butter with the sugar, beating until light and fluffy.

6 Beat in the three eggs, one at a time, along with a spoonful of flour to prevent curdling.

7 Sieve the rest of the flour into the mixture, then gently fold in all remaining ingredients using a spatula.

8 Put half of the cake mixture into the prepared tin, then roll out just under half the almond paste into a circle on a surface (sprinkled with a light dusting of icing sugar) until it’s the right size to fit the tin.

9 Place this circle on top of the cake mix and cover it with the remainder of the mix, making a gentle hollow in the centre. (This should account for any rise in the cake, so you still get a flat top).

10 Put into the preheated oven for 45 mins. When the cake starts to turn golden on top, place a thick layer of parchment over it to prevent burning for the remainder of cooking time. After 45 mins reduce heat to 160°C and bake for another hour.

11 Test the cake with a skewer. It should come out clean. Give it a further 15 mins if necessary then test again. When it’s ready, set aside to settle for 15 mins before turning the cake out onto a cooling tray.

12 Set aside some marzipan for the ‘apostles’ and roll the remainder on a surface with a light dusting of icing sugar. It should be another circle to neatly fit on top of the cake.

13 When the cake is cold, brush the top with a thin layer of apricot jam and lay the marzipan on top. Use a knife to score the marzipan decoratively if wished and brush with beaten egg. Divide the remaining marzipan into 11 pieces and roll each into a ball. Apply in a circle evenly around the edge. Brush them with beaten egg too.

14 Toast in a very hot oven for 15 mins – keeping an eye on it – until the marzipan is toasted golden. Cool and serve.

For more of Wendy’s recipes, see www.scottishfoodguide.com

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