With Easter this weekend, make this classically beautiful cake the centrepiece of your celebrations. Not just beautiful to look at, it’s tantalisingly tasty too…
- 225 g Natural marzipan
- 225 g Plain flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Mixed spice
- 175 g Spreadable butter
- 175 g Golden caster sugar
- 3 Large eggs
- 3 tbsp Milk
- 175 g Currants
- 225 g Sultanas
- 50 g Glacé cherries (cut into quarters)
- 50 g Unblanched almonds (roasted and chopped)
- 50 g Chopped candied peel
- Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
For the topping:
- 300 g Natural marzipan
- 1 dsp Apricot jam
- Sugared spring flowers
For the decorations:
- 1 egg white
- Caster sugar for coating
- Edible flowers you could try: Primroses, Violets, Rose, Borage, Pansies
You will need a 20cm round loose-based cake tin, with greased base, sides and lined with baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
- Cut the marzipan into small cubes then toss them in 2 level tablespoons of flour.
- Sift the remaining flour, baking powder and spice into a large mixing bowl, then add the butter, caster sugar and eggs.
- Using an electric hand whisk, mix to a smooth, creamy consistency. Then whisk in the milk.
- Take a metal spoon and gently fold in the fruit, nuts, candied peel and grated orange and lemon zest followed by the marzipan cubes.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level it out with the back of the spoon.
- Bake the cake near the centre of the oven for about 2 hours 30 minutes or until the centre is firm and springy.
- Leave the cake in the tin to cool for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack.
- Roll out the marzipan to a round saving some for the marzipan balls on top.
- Brush the top of the cooled cake with apricot jam, top with the round of marzipan, and scallop the edges.
To toast the marzipan:
- Cut out a circle of foil to cover the top of the cake inside the scalloped edge and place the cake under a pre-heated grill so the marzipan is a good distance from the heat source and watch carefully until the scalloped edge is toasted to a golden brown. Alternatively this works well with a cook’s blowtorch.
- Finally, top with the sugared spring flowers and marzipan balls.
For the decorations:
- Beat egg whites until frothy. Add a couple of drops of vodka to help the flowers dry quicker.
- Using fresh-picked flowers, paint each flower individually with beaten egg white using a little paintbrush – a party brush will probably be a bit too clumsy for this.
- When thoroughly coated, sprinkle with fine sugar and place on the wire rack to dry. Flowers are completely dry when stiff and brittle to the touch.