Simnel cake is a light fruitcake that is an Easter classic and is often associated with Mother's Day. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I used to make one for my Mum every year, when I lived in England! A proper Easter bake. I added some almond essence to the batter as well as a little cinnamon allspice ginger and nutmeg. Nigella's Simnel Cake (from FEAST) is a fruit cake that has a marzipan filling and topping.Nowadays it is associated with Easter, though originally it was served on Mothering Sunday in the UK (this year on Sunday 26th March 2017). It would be boiled like a pudding. Simnel cake is a light fruitcake formerly eaten during the pre-Easter period in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some other countries but has become a traditional cake for Easter Sunday. Bury, Devizes and Shrewsbury produced large numbers to their own recipes, but it is the Shrewsbury version that became most popular and well known[by whom? The name simnel probably comes from the ancient Roman word simila, meaning fine flour. They are raised cakes, the crust of which is made of fine flour and water, with sufficient saffron to give it a deep yellow colour, and the interior is filled with the materials of a very rich plum-cake, with plenty of candied lemon peel, and other good things. Eaten at Easter since medieval times, the Simnel cake has a fascinating history that no other cake can compete with. Cover with marzipan and decorate with 12 marzipan balls at the end. Email to a friend. Introduction. Simnel flour and simnel bread had both begun to recede from view and simnel cake had moved centre stage, beginning to assume a more definite form. ). When ready for sale the crust is as hard as if made of wood, ...... the accompanying engraving, representing large and small cakes as now on sale in Shrewsbury. John de Garlande felt that the word was equivalent to placenta cake,[3] a cake that was intended to please. Mothering Sunday occurs on the fourth Sunday of Lent; a special day when people visited their mother church or cathedral. As with so many classic recipes, there are many conflicting stories of how the simnel cake first came about! This classic cake was originally made by girls in service to give to their mothers on the 4th … Though there were 12 disciples, Judas Iscariot is omitted as he betrayed. Simnel cake. This doesn’t sound that much like a special bread, you may think, but what made it special is that it made out of the highest quality flour possible; simnel derives from the Latin simila – the whitest and finest of flours. A wonderul spiced & fruited cake which heralds the advent of Spring. Simnel cake history. It would be like the Scottish black bun, a traditional Christmas food north of the border. The marzipan recipe below is different to my previously published one and I think much better. This may not sound like a special bread, but what made it special is that it made from the highest quality flour possible; Simnel derives from the Latin simila – the whitest and finest of flours. In a large bowl, beat together the softened butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour, cinnamon and zests. [14] Most recipes require at least 90 minutes of cooking, and advise using several layers of baking parchment to line the tin, and sometimes brown paper wrapped around the outside to stop the marzipan burning.[15]. Simnel Cake History . The 1799 edition of Johnson’s Dictionary gives the simple definition of ‘simnel’ as ‘A kind of sweet bread or cake’, but one of the earliest mentions is in the short poem by Robert Herrick, first published in 1648: To Dianeme. Take a third of your marzipan and roll it out into a circle the same size as the tin, trimming away any untidy bits. The usage of these cakes is evidently one of great antiquity.”, Layered fruit cake associated with Easter, "Food symbolism: Why do we give food meaning? Share on facebook. I’le to thee a Simnel bring, While the people of Shrewsbury, Bury and Devizes all made theirs in slightly different ways, they all avoided using milk or butter and they all added generous quantities of raisins, sultanas, candied fruits and saffron to the mix. 1: The Be-Ro Book. Simple, everyday, simnel bread has been made in England since as far back as the 11th century. Begin by greasing and lining an 8-inch cake tin and preheating your oven to 150°C. The delicious spiced fruit cake has a layer of marzipan baked inside it as well as being decorated with toasted marzipan. History Simnel Cake. Simnel cake is a light fruit cake with two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the middle and one on top [1], that is toasted, and eaten during the Easter period in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some other countries. A Simnel cake is a type of fruit cake that contains plenty of marzipan and is eaten at Easter, although it used to be specifically associated with Mothering Sunday. It turns out that an interesting mythology has formed around this ancient fruity fare. Simnel cake has been eaten since medieval times as both a rich, sweet treat and a symbolic ritual. ( Log Out /  It was originally made for the fourth Sunday in Lent,[1] also known as Laetare Sunday, the Refreshment Sunday of Lent (when the 40-day fast would be relaxed), Mothering Sunday, the Sunday of the Five Loaves,[2] or Simnel Sunday – named after the cake. [9][10] An early reference to decorating with marzipan balls appears in May Byron's Pot-Luck Cookery[11][12] but with no mention of the modern story, and her version may well be derived from earlier styles, which were sometimes crenelated. It is distinguished by two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the middle and one on top. One account, often now discounted, attributes the invention of the Simnel cake to one Lambert Simnel, who was the ten-year-old pretender to Henry VII’s throne, of whom it is alleged for the purposes of the cake story at least, that he was spared death and sent to work in the royal kitchens where he came up with the recipe. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg. Our answer. Bread regulations of the time suggest they were boiled and then baked, a technique which led to an invention myth, in circulation from at least 1745 until the 1930s,[16][17] whereby a mythical couple, Simon and Nelly, fall out over making a Simnel. Lay the marzipan in the tin and then spoon and scrape the remainder of the cake batter on top of that. A simnel cake is a key part of Easter baking.This fruit cake is simple to make but will take a little time in the oven. "This strange cake was what is called in Bury, England, where name, cake and custom originated, a "Simnel cake," and an interesting history pertains to it. Knead in the bowl until smooth, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This light fruit cake has a really long history behind it, dating back to Medieval times. This was a time of year when food stocks were low, and the high-calorie simnel cake was useful nutrition. Originally, this cake was made for Mothering Sunday, but it has for a long, long time been an essential Easter confection, the marzipan balls on top representing the apostles: eleven in total as, for understandable reasons, Judas is persona non grata. Now fold in the mixed fruit and cherries with a spatula or wooden spoon. [citation needed], Different towns had their own recipes and shapes of the Simnel cake[citation needed]. The Simnel Cake is a symbolic Easter cake decorated with eleven marzipan balls around the cake to represent the 11 disciples. 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