I guess maybe it’s the fact that I didn’t make a Christmas cake from scratch last year but I was hit by the urge to do some seasonal cooking this Easter. The above (yes burnt) cake is a Simnel Cake, largely based on a recipe from the Peyton and Byrne book (I changed it around a little, swapping glace cherries for grated stem ginger and marmalade under the marzipan for lime preserve – because that’s what I had). The resulting cake still tasted quite Peyton and Byrne like (i.e. yummy), I and the mother-in-law liked it, Girl Lacer liked the cake but not the marzipan, Boy Lacer liked the marzipan but not the cake (so they can share the next slice then) and Mr. Lacer just doesn’t like fruit cake anyway.
My only criticism of the recipe is that there is clearly a typo in the Peyton and Byrne book, as the recipe stated that the cake would be cooked in 50-60 minutes, it was barely set in 50-60 minutes, let alone cooked properly. In the end it stayed in for around 2 hours, I did a quick check online and most Simnel recipes stated that sort of time, so I think that was the issue.
Oh (and in case you think I’m an idiot), no I didn’t decorate the cake and then put it in the oven, I put it under the grill instead (once decorated) because that’s what the book said to, I think the word was, ‘burnish’ the marzipan. Actually, although it looks burnt, it doesn’t really taste burnt and it does leave a nice crisp upper layer to the marzipan . . .
PS I know it’s meant to be 11 balls of marzipan.