Posts Tagged Easter

Simnel Cake

At Easter I always make a Simnel cake.

Simnel cakes are often associated with Mothering Sunday also known as Simnel-Sunday. According to historian Ronald Hutton in 17th Century Gloucestershire and Worcestershire the custom of live-in apprentices and domestic servants going home to visit their mothers on Mothering Sunday started, checking that their families were well and taking food or money if needed. This was a time of year when food stocks were low, and the high-calorie simnel cake was useful nutrition. The cake later became simply an Easter cake.

The ingredients are as follows:

  • 175g      light muscavado sugar or soft brown sugar (I also use coconut sugar)
  • 175g      butter softened
  • 175g      self raising flour (I used wholemeal)
  • 3      large free range eggs
  • 2      tablespoons of milk
  • 500g      sultanas,  dried apricots pieces, chopped dates, currants, raisins and dried cranberries
  • 1      teaspoon of mixed spice
  • 2      teaspoon of ground ginger

Preparation:

    1. Heat the oven to 160C/320F/gas3
    2. grease  and line the base and sides of an 8 inch round cake tin with baking parchment
    3. beat the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy
    4. add the eggs one at a time and beat
    5. add the milk
    6. add  the flour and all the dry fruit ingredients and fold in
    7. tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin
    8. place the cake in the oven and bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours or until golden brown and a skewer or knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
    9. place the cake on a cooling rack to cool before removing from the tin
    10. decorate  as required (I put marzipan and chocolate eggs on mine)DSC03075

Some people brown the top of the marzipan under the grill but as I have added small chocolate eggs I won’t do that.  There are 11 marzipan balls which traditionally represent the 12 Apostles less Judas.

Not to be eaten until Easter Sunday of course.

Come and share some Simnel cake with us http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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A lovely Easter weekend with our friends from Oz!!

Over the Easter weekend we were delighted to be visited by our friends from Australia Christine and Ian. I first met Chris when she came to my parents house for Xmas 30 years ago, and then about 24 years ago I went to Melbourne and stayed with her in Gisborne approximately 55 kilometres (34 mi) north-west of Melbourne.  We have corresponded on email, so kept in touch but not seen each other for a very long time and I had never met her partner Ian, and my hubby Neil had never met either of them. But we all got on like a house on fire. They have 40 acres of land in Seymour in the state of Victoria, Australia which is located 98 kilometres (61 mi) north of Melbourne. They too keep chickens and appreciated what we are trying to do with our 3 1/2 acres here.

On Easter Sunday we took them to one of our favourite walks up Staple Hill.  Chris loves to take photos and took even more than me! I snapped her capturing the view.

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It was quite sunny with some low cloud so we couldn’t see all the way to Wales but they loved the woods and peacefulness of Staple Hill.

DSC00019This is me and Chris together.

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I took this one of Chris and Ian when they weren’t looking but concentrating on their own photos.

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Chris and I have exactly the same camera!.  All those miles between us and we have the exact same model of camera, that’s world markets for you.

We came home for lunch and opened our Easter eggs.   I had given Chris an Easter Chicken out of chocolate and she gave me a lovely Green and Black’s egg which we didn’t take long to demolish!!

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Easter Monday and they were off on their travels again, all part of their 6 week European trip.  Still we managed to show them the lovely scenery around here, some country roads, 2 local pubs and Stentwood tea room as well as having a delicious roast lamb dinner yesterday.

I’m wondering how long it will be before we meet up again.  Not another 24 years I hope!!

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Little Easter Fairy Cakes

Today was my turn to make small cakes for the “Golden Age Group” that I help out with.  This is a club for elderly people in Churchingford every fortnight.  They have a speaker, then a high tea of sandwiches, scones and cakes.  As we have just had Easter I decided to make my fairy cakes with an Easter theme.

Little Easter fairy cakes

It’s a simple recipe.  You weigh the eggs and then add the same of sugar, butter and flour.  I used 3 eggs that weighed 200g, so beat together 200g of butter and light brown sugar, then added 200g of self raising flour.  I split the mixture into 2, and into one bowl I added a teaspoon of mixed spice and half a teaspoon of ginger powder and a generous sprinkling of dried currants.  Into the other bowl I added 4 teaspoons of cocoa powder, then turned them into individual cake cases.  Popped them in the oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes, and left them to cool. I made some icing out of icing sugar and water, and for the chocolate icing added more cocoa powder, and then topped them off with mini chocolate eggs.  I’m always making cakes, as I like to offer my B&B guests cakes when they arrive.  see us atwww.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Easter Simnel Cake

It is traditional in the UK to have a Simnel cake at Easter.  This is a rich fruit cake covered in Marzipan and the traditional decoration for the simnel cake is eleven balls of marzipan arranged in a circle. These represent the disciples – omitting Judas.

I have also added Easter Chicks and coloured chocolate eggs to my cake.

My Easter Simnel Cake

So does this tradition exist elsewhere in the world or is it a very British thing?

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