Easter Food

Easter Cake

I recently read this article on Food24:

The story behind these 5 favourite Easter foods

And based an Easter menu around 3 of them.

When we sit down for Easter Lunch, most of us will be sharing dishes that we look forward to year after year. It’s quite a beautiful thought that our grandmothers and their grandmothers may have passed down a recipe through hundreds of years of generations.

We eat lamb, eggs and very specific baked goods, but why?

Read on about Simnel Cake and why it’s become the traditional Easter Cake – and give the recipe a go.

Of course – this cake is made all the more delightful with a Chaloner Premium artisanal product.

(Click here for the full article)

Easter Cake

As the allegory goes, two boys were baking a cake for Mothering Day (somewhat of a precursor to modern-day Mother’s Day) and couldn’t decide on how the recipe should go. One boy insisted on boiled, the other baked, and from then on they created a new double effort dish that would appear during the festive season for the next thousand years.  While the boys apparently had a great falling-out, their legendary cake remained.

In relationship to Easter, this costly cake was only made on important days of the year; it included marzipan made from almonds. Simnel cake can be found as a staple Easter dessert in many English, Irish and South African homes.  Small balls of marzipan sit atop the Simnel cake representing the Apostles of Jesus (excluding Judas).

Simnel cake

Simnel Cake

Ingredients

175g butter

175g soft light brown sugar

1 lemon

1 orange

175g flour

2 Tbsp. baking powder

50g ground almonds

½ tsp. each ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg

3 large free-range eggs

1 Tbsp. milk

150g raisins

100g currants or sultanas

100g glacé cherries or dried cranberries

100g mixed citrus peel

3 Tbsp. Chaloner Apricot Jam

icing sugar, for dusting

350g marzipan

cinnamon, for dusting (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Grease the base and sides of a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin and double line with greaseproof paper. Cream the butter and sugar until pale, then finely grate and beat in the lemon and orange zest.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a pinch of salt.

Beat 1 egg into the butter mixture with 1 tablespoon of the dry mix. Repeat with the remaining eggs, and finish by folding in all the dry mix. Stir in the milk and dried fruits and peel. Do not overbeat. Pour the cake batter into the lined tin and bake for 1½ to 1¾ hours, or until golden. Test the cake by inserting a skewer – if it comes out clean, it’s cooked. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, heat the apricot jam in a small pan over a low heat until it thins to a liquid. Dust a work surface with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan to 1cm thick and trim so that it’s just a little bigger than the cake tin. Use the trimmings to form 11 balls.

Brush the top of the cake with the jam and place the marzipan round on it. Crimp the edges with your fingers then evenly dot the balls around the cake, securing in place with a little jam. Serve as is, or finish by caramelizing the marzipan’s edges with a blowtorch or under a hot grill and lightly dusting with cinnamon.

fruit cake