Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Apricot and Coconut Simnel Cake

Happy Easter everyone! I hope that you are all having a nice few days off work. Yesterday my Dad and Liz (and my step sister Sarah and her boyfriend Mark) came for an Easter afternoon tea. A great excuse to do lots of baking! This was my take in Simnel cake - not quite traditional with the addition of Malibu and Apricots - but tasty all the same!

Simnel Cake
Serves 10 - 12
500g mixed fruit
100g chopped dried apricots
200g glace cherries
200g soft shredded coconut or dessicated coconut
400ml malibu
225g butter
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
250g self raising flour
450g marzipan

Place the fruit, apricots, cherries and coconut in a bowl together with the malibu and leave to soak for 1 - 2 hours. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3/160C/325F and grease and line an 8 inch round spring form tin. Cream together the butter and sugar then add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each egg is added. Sift in the flour and fold in gently to incorporate. Fold in the fuit mixture and soaking liquor. Scrape half the mixture into the tin, then take 1/3 of the marzipan and roll out into a circle the same size as the tin. Use a little icing sugar to dust the surface you are rolling the marzipan out on. Place the maripan into the tin and top with the remaining cake batter. Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until the cake is firm and a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Allow the cake to cool and turn out upside down. Roll out the remaining marzipan into a circle the size of the cake, keeping the trimmings to make the balls for decoration. The underside of the cake should be sticky enough to secure the marzipan when you place it on top. If it is not, brush the cake with a little warmed apricot jam. Roll the trimmings into 11 balls to represent the 11 apostles, then place the cake under a grill for 2 - 5 minutes until the marzipan balls are golden brown, turning the cake half way through to ensure even colouring. Decorate with ribbon and Easter chicks.

1 comment:

Sadie said...

that looks utterly scrummy!

Happy Easter :o) x