Saturday 13th March - Simnel Cake

Prepare a 7 inch/18cm cake tin. Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan) mark 3
175g (6ozs) butter/margarine
175g (6ozs) caster sugar
3 whole eggs, whisked
1 egg white, beaten
225g (8ozs) plain flour sieved with 2.5ml (1/2 level teasp.) ground cinnamon and nutmeg 
100g (4ozs) glace cherries cut into quarters
50g (2ozs) mixed peel
250g (9ozs) currants
100g (4ozs) sultanas
Finely grated rind lemon
15-30ml. (1-2 tablesp) milk, if necessary
450g (1lb) almond paste or marzipan

Cream fat and sugar till fluffy.

radually beat in the whole eggs (I usually add some of the flour as well).
Fold in flour and spices. Add all the fruit and lemon rind.
If mixture is too stiff, add a little milk.
Spoon half the mixture into the prepared tin.
Divide the almond paste or marzipan in half, and using a board lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll one half into a 6.5 inch (16.5cm) circle. Place this on top of cake mixture in tin. Then add rest of cake mixture.
Tie a double thickness of brown paper round the outside of the tin. Bake for 1 hour, then lower heat to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and bake for a further 2 hours. When cooked, the cake should be a rich brown colour and firm to the touch.
Cool in the tin, for about an hour.Then cool on wire rack.
Divide remaining almond paste/marzipan in two. Roll out one half to a 7.5 inch circle and the rest into eleven small balls. Brush egg white over top of the cake, place marzipan circle on top, crimping the edges. Fix balls on top of cake using egg white and then brush the top of cake with remaining egg white. Grill for 1-2 minutes until browned. Tie ribbon round cake and decorate with sugar flowers if desired!
(From Good Housekeeping, sent in by Gill Keens. )