A recent survey, carried out by our team at ao.com, has revealed that 58% of the population will be revelling in a traditional pastime this Easter holiday and indulging in home baking. And, the classic Simnel cake beats the hot cross bun and the Chelsea bun to become the nation’s favourite Easter indulgence.
With baking fever still gripping the nation, thanks to TV shows such as the Great British Bake Off, it looks like many of us will be setting time aside this Easter to try our hands at a new recipe or make the most of our favourite cook books.
If you’re struggling for a little inspiration though, we caught up with one of the stars of last year’s Great British Bake Off, Iain Watters. After working with Iain last Christmas on his delicious Chocolate Chestnut Orange Christmas Cake (the recipe for which can be found here) we knew he’d be the man to create something a little special for us to enjoy this Easter. And he didn’t disappoint.
Iain has taken the traditional Simnel cake and brought it up to date with the inclusion of pistachios and figs.
Iain told us: “Now more than ever, baking is in fashion, and the extensive range of ingredients and equipment is helping to really encourage a younger generation to don an apron and get into the kitchen.”
”It’s really inspiring to take ingredients and recipes, and add your own mark to them. This year, I’ll be baking this Simnel Cake for my family. Updating the recipe slightly by adding some figs and pistachios gave it extra depth and a modern twist which everyone will hopefully really enjoy!”
Follow Iain’s video below for full instructions or scroll down for his method.
here's what you'll need...
For the cake:
- 175g margarine
- 175g light muscovado sugar
- 3 medium eggs, beaten
- 1 egg yolk (left over from pistachio
- 240g self raising flour, sifted
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 125g ready to eat figs
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon and orange
For the pistachio marzipan:
- 200g pistachio kernels (save a few for decoration)
- 150g sifted icing sugar
- 1 medium free-range egg white
- ½ tsp rose water (optional)
- Honey or apricot jam
- A few crushed pistachios
- Some edible rose petal (optional)
- Zest or an orange and lemon (optional)