I was all set today to make a Simnel cake, ready for the arrival of the marzipan loving, house-sitting aunt and uncle. Well, when I say I was all set, I mean that I had it in mind that I would. Requests across the twitterverse brought forth an unusual twist with @Domestic_Jules’ recipe for Simnel loaf and cupcakes. Perfect
Requests of the cake baking cupboard brought forth only very dried up, dog end of marzipan.
Request of the village shop brought back a negative response.
So, I am facing either late night baking, or buying one in. If you don’t have a bakers on hand, here’s a few good looking ones that I’ve found:
* I would trust Bettys of Harrogate to turn out a rather splendid Simnel cake, and they have three very attractive looking options. There is the traditional route with 11 balls of marzipan, the appropriately named Apostle Simnel cake, then a large round one, and two sizes of oval. Without apostles but still with plenty of marzipan. Lovely looking to send as a gift. Or just eat yourself with a nice cup of tea.
* If you want to go posh, then Fortnum & Mason will send you a very attractive looking cake. There is a dinky 2 inch Baby Simnel, through to a full on 700g version. My friend from LA was most impressed with Fortnum’s, declared it the height of Englishness in her view, and baby Simnel would be hand luggage friendly. Although whether that’s allowed I’m not sure! If you need royal approval, then the Highgrove Shop do one too.
* If you want a very pretty version to send as a gift, then have a look at The Original Hat Box Cake Co. If the cake is as tasty as the packaging is beautiful, then it should be a cake to remember. If you have someone to buy for who (shock horror) doesn’t like chocolate, then this is a great seasonal foodie gift. And no wrapping required!
* Finally, if there is a marzipan loather in the family, then Simnel cake will be their idea of hell! Perhaps try an Italian tradition, with La Torinese Colomba with chocolate from Luigi’s. Mind you, if they don’t like candied peel, then this is out too. Otherwise imagine this would go down very well with an espresso.
I’m hoping that I can still fit in the baking, but I think, to be on the safe side, the Bettys version may just be winging its way down from Yorkshire to us!