Prepare to bake your cake – It is really worth it.
200g soft butter – I leave mine out for a few hours or soften in the microwave for between 10 & 20 seconds- but be careful as you don’t want melted butter
200g light soft brown sugar.
Put these into your mixing bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer
250g plain flour
2 level tsp baking powder
1 level tsp ground mixed spice
Sift these together into another bowl
Grate the rind from 1 lemon & 1 orange
Then squeeze out the juice from them both
100g mixed peel
1 kg readymade marzipan
A couple of table spoons of apricot jam or marmilade
Turn the oven onto 150 degrees C to heat up
You need to line a deep, loose bottom 20cm/8 inch baking tin with baking parchment
Cream together the butter & sugar until much paler – use a mixer if possible as this can be hard work if beating with a wooden spoon
Add the dried flour mixture to the bowl along with the eggs and beat for about 2 minutes with the electric mixer or about 5 minutes hard work by hand.
Add the dried fruits, juice & rind. Mix it all together to make sure the fruit is thoroughly spread around the mix.
Tip half the cake mix into the prepared baking tin, then gently flatten it out with a spoon. Take about 300g of marzipan, roll into a circle using your baking tin as a guide. Lay this over the cake mixture in the tin and then add the remaining mixture. Gentle flatten the top with the back of a spoon
Bake for about 2 hours 15 minutes.
Check after about an hour and a half. If the top is browning too quickly then pop a circle of baking parchment over the top of the cake.
It’s done when you can skewer it – as far as the marzipan middle – and the skewer comes clean.
Let the cake cool a bit in the tine and then remove. Gently pull off the baking parchment and leave to go cold.
Keep the cake wrapped in grease proof paper or a cake tin until you want to decorate it.
Using about 400g of the marzipan and your cake tine to guide your cutting roll about the marzipan in a circle a bit bigger than your cake top. Use the baking tin to cut round. Your marzipan may stick a bit so try rolling it gently.
Heat the jam in a pan until melted and brush on the top of the cake.
Carefully lay over your circle of marzipan on the top of the cake.
Now roll out 11 balls about 20g each and use them to decorate the cake.
To get the marzipan browned heat your grill and put the cake under the heat being careful to watch it. It only takes a couple of minutes.
I then coloured a bit of the remaining marzipan with some egg yellow, rolled it out and cut a few simple flowers.