|Easter Simnel Cupcakes|
I usually make a Simnel Cake at Easter and it is always of the large, round, traditional variety. This year though I decided to do something a little different and went small. My decision was based on the vast amount of mincemeat I still have in my kitchen. Sainsbury's sold off their jars of mincemeat after Christmas for just 10p and I snapped up as many I could carry home. Whilst they are dated until after this Christmas they are cluttering up my kitchen somewhat.
Simnel Cakes were originally given on Mothering Sunday but over time it has become an Easter cake. The eleven little marzipan balls represent the faithful apostles – the traitorous Judas doesn't deserve one. Instead I have given the twelfth cake a cross to symbolise Jesus himself.
I am hosting two challenges this month – my own Love Cake, with the theme of Springing into Easter, and also the No Waste Food Challenge on behalf of Elizabeth at Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. As well as using up mincemeat and dried mincemeat I also used the leftover egg yolk in the recipe on a pizza at lunchtime!
Stuart at Cakeyboi is the co-host of Treat Petite with Kat at The Baking Explorer. These individually portioned Simnel cakes fit with this month's Spring into Easter theme.
Nayna at simply.food has her Let's cook sweet treats for Easter event this month (Sainsbury's mincemeat is vegetarian).
I am also submitting these to Credit Crunch Munch with Camilla at Fab Food 4 All and her co-host Helen at Fuss Free Flavours as this is a cheap way to make a Simnel cake for 12 servings and it uses ingredients I already had in my cupboards.
Equipment: 12-cup deep muffin tin, 12 paper cupcake cases, electric beaters/whisk, rolling pin, 2 round pastry cutters.
6oz (170g) Mincement
4oz (110g) Mixed dried fruit including candied peel
1 Large egg
2½oz (70g) Caster sugar
2½oz (70g) Unsalted butter, softened or baking spread
4oz (110g) Self-raising flour
¼ tsp (1.25ml) Lemon extract
1lb (450g) Golden marzipan
Icing sugar for dusting
2tbsp (30ml) Apricot jam
1 egg white
1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/Gas mark 3.
2. Line the muffin tin with the paper cases.
3. In a large bowl beat together the mincemeat, dried fruit, egg, sugar, butter, flour and lemon extract until it is well combined.
4. Half fill each of the paper cases.
5. Take a third of the marzipan and roll it out on a flat surface dusted with the icing sugar.
6. Cut out 12 circles to fit inside the cases and put one in each of the cases.
7. Cover the marzipan circles with the rest of the cake mixture.
8. Bake for 30 minutes until the tops have cooked.
9. Leave in the tin for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
10. Once cooled roll out another third of the marzipan and cut out a slightly larger circle to cover the top of the cakes.
11. Heat the apricot jam so it becomes slightly runny.
12. Brush on the cakes then place a marzipan circle on each of them.
13. With the remaining marzipan cut out a cross and then divide into 11 pieces. Roll each of these into a ball.
14. Stick these onto the marzipan tops with the apricot jam.
15. Lightly beat the egg white and then brush each of the cakes with it.
16. Place all of the cakes onto a baking tray and then place under a hot grill. Warning! These go from brown to burnt very quickly so keep watching them. The cake with the cross may need extra time on its own.