A traditional Easter recipe with a twist, this chocolate Simnel cake will fast become a family favourite. It's a classic cake recipe that you'll want to use again and again and will really please the whole family.
- 100g each sultanas and raisins
- 125g dried figs, chopped into 1cm pieces
- 75ml brandy or port
- 150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 50g treacle
- 100g golden syrup
- 150g plain flour
- 1tsp each ground cinnamon and baking powder
- 150g butter, softened
- 125g light muscovado sugar
- 3 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- For the decoration:
- 454g pack ready-to-roll marzipan
- icing sugar, to dust
- 3tbsp apricot jam, sieved
- 11 or 12 chocolate eggs (we used Galaxy Golden Eggs)
- Ribbon and edible glitter (optional)
- You will need:
- A 20cm round cake tin, greased and lined with baking parchment
Put the dried fruit and alcohol in a large bowl, cover and leave to soak for 2 hours or overnight.
Heat the oven to 140C, gas 1. Melt the chocolate with the treacle and syrup in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Cool slightly. Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking powder into a separate bowl. Whisk the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs; add 1tbsp flour to prevent curdling. Fold in the flour and spice mix, then the chocolate and soaked fruits. Spoon into the tin; smooth the top. Put on a low shelf in the oven and cook for 2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
To decorate, roll out the marzipan on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to 3mm thick and cut out a 20cm circle. Heat the jam in a pan, spread over the top of the cake then turn it upside down onto the marzipan. Trim to fit, and smooth out the top. Roll out 11 or 12 tiny marzipan balls to help the chocolate eggs stick; dip the base of each in jam and place evenly on the cake. Stick the chocolate eggs to them. Add a ribbon and edible glitter, if you like.