| 2014 | 04 | 25 | the simnel saga |

I am a secret love of the Great British Bake off. If you have read some of my older posts you'll notice I do enjoy every once in a while to indulge in a cake or too. However, I have one recipe that every year never ceases to get the better of me. 

Simnel Cake.

You can imagine my joy then, when I saw that Mary Berry covered that very seasonal treat on one of her shows, and I was so excited to follow her step by step guide. 

Oh May. Every other thing we've had going has been great - I've watched all her shows, I've read most of her books and I even have a small picture of her in my bedroom - but despite all that, even she couldn't guide me through. I tried to bake her traditional Simnel cake, and was moments away from ending our relatoinship forever. Oh Berry, you tease. 

Trust Mary and Paul to add stress to my life. They promised a simple step by step method to making this Easter treat. Sadly, even when following this guide (alongside the video) step 1 proved far too challenging. 

look at them just standing there, having a bake

I literally could not line my tin and my laptop almost ended up in the oven. It took a good cup of tea and a biscuit before I felt ready to continue, and even then the task was arduous. That mixer she so daintily flaunts, well I wish I had one, because trust me, beating in four eggs separately after my weights session yesterday was a workout in itself. 

By the time I was measuring out sultanas, that cake and I were really on poor terms. Thankfully I got to leave it in the oven for over two hours and by the time that buzzer went off I was past caring.

My dad says it's tasty though. So thanks Mary. I guess.
If you are more capable than I, I strongly recommend giving it a go. Obviously it's a bit late this year. So this post in itself isn't particularly helpful.


A little part of me gets quiet satisfaction through having all my ingredients nicely prepared. That way, there's minimal mess and no chance you've forgotten something!

I can't remember who told me to do this, but when adding the eggs one by one if you put a bit of the flour in first the mixture doesn't curdle and you end up with a much better cake batter. 

This mixture is one of the heaviest I have made. The combination of the fruit pushes it well into the dense category.

What these photos don't show is the stress level. By this point I was shouting at all the things. 

 So. Marzipan is not my forte. But you get the idea. 

My dad ate more than a quarter in his first sitting. His capacity to consume fruit cake is worrying. 

he had tucked in before i could snap the shot.