Simnel Cupcakes

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Simnel Cupcakes

Simnel Cupcakes

A contemporary twist on an Easter classic. This recipe was especially written by Max Clark for the Leiths Easter Baking class.

Ingredients

Makes about 10


300g white marzipan
Icing sugar, for dusting
120g unsalted butter, softened
120g golden caster sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs, separated
150g self raising flour
A Pinch of salt
60g glace cherries, cut in half
120g Lexia raisins
60g currants
20g candied peel, chopped

To finish
A little apricot jam, warmed
Beaten egg

Instructions

  1. Prepare the marzipan. For the filling, take one-third of the marzipan and divide it into 8 pieces. Lightly dust a work surface with icing sugar and roll or pat each piece of marzipan into a flattish ball, about the size of a 2 pence piece. Place the marzipan discs onto a tray lined with non-stick baking parchment. Cover with cling film and set aside.
  2. Roll the remaining marzipan to a thickness of approximately ½ cm. Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut out 10 circles to fit the tops of the cakes. (The size of the circles will depend on the size of the cupcake cases used, but will be roughly 5cm). Place them on a sheet of non-stick baking parchment and cover with cling film.
  3. Bring the marzipan trimmings together, knead lightly until smooth then divide it into 10 pieces. Shape the pieces into small, even-sized balls and set aside on non-stick baking parchment. Cover with cling film.
  4. For the cake mixture, heat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a bun tin with 10 cup cake cases.
  5. Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl, and, using a hand-held electric whisk beat until pale and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and beat again for about a minute to enhance the lemon flavour. Add the egg yolks gradually, beating well between each addition.
  6. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl, add the dried fruits and using a wooden spoon, mix everything together.
  7. In a separate clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites to medium peaks using an electric whisk. Stir a large spoonful of the beaten egg whites into the cake mixture and mix well to loosen it then, carefully fold the remaining egg whites into the mixture, using a large metal spoon.
  8. Divide half of the mixture between the cup cake cases and place one of the small discs of marzipan on top, to create a marzipan centre. Divide the remaining mixture between the cases pressing it down firmly, using the back of the spoon.
  9. Bake the cakes in the centre of the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  10. When the cakes are cool, heat the grill to its highest setting. Brush the top of the cakes with a little warm apricot jam and place a marzipan circle on top. Dab a spot of jam in the centre and place a marzipan ball on top, pressing it down firmly. Brush with a little beaten egg. Place the cakes on a baking sheet and place them under the hot grill for a few seconds, until the marzipan just begins to caramelise.

Gold coloured foil cup cake cases look particularly pretty with the caramelised marzipan and are available in most supermarkets,
cookware shops and online cake decorating shops.

If available, a blow torch can be used to caramelise the marzipan.

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