Chocolate and almond simnel cake

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The chocolate gives the cake an interesting twist and the cherries and cranberries are a delicious surprise when you bite into the cake. The layer of marzipan inserted in the middle of the cake makes it moist and lifts the flavour to a new level!

By Independent Contributor April 01 2020
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Ingredients (19)

400 g marzipan
icing sugar — for dusting
160 g butter
160 g brown sugar
4 eggs
210 g cake flour
5 ml Baking powder
5 ml ground cinnamon
5 ml mixed spice
150 g dark chocolate — coarsely chopped
80 g cranberries
80 g glacé cherries — halved
80 g candied peel — chopped
40 g smooth apricot jam — melted
180 g dark chocolate — chopped
90 g cream
11 marzipan — rolled into small balls
11 chocolate coated almonds
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Pre-heat the oven to 140°C and line and grease a 20 cm deep cake tin with baking paper. Knead the marzipan on a surface dusted with icing sugar until smooth and divide in two. Roll each halve into a 20cm-diameter circle, place on paper and keep aside. Cream the butter and the sugar till light and fluffy and add the eggs one at a time,  beat well after each addition. Sift together the flour, baking powder, spices and the salt.  Mix it gently into the egg mixture. Add the chocolate and the dried fruit and mix it into the batter. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared cake tin, cover with one of the marzipan circles and spoon over the rest of the batter.  Smooth the top and make an indentation in the centre that cuts through the marzipan layer to let steam out. Bake until a skewer comes out clean – about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cool completely in the pan. Turn out onto a serving plate, brush with melted apricot jam and top with the remaining marzipan circle. Heat the cream and chocolate on very low setting in the microwave and melt to make the ganache. Pour the ganache over the cake and allow the chocolate to spill down the sides. Arrange the marzipan balls on top and place a chocolate-coated almond on top of each marzipan ball Dust with cacao. This cake will keep for several days stored in an airtight container.

Reprinted with permission from Christine Capendale.

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