Friday, 18 April 2014

Easter Recipe - Simnel Cake

Simnel Cake is a cake filled with mixed fruit, lemon and marzipan and is a perfect Easter recipe. It could be used to sell at a cake sale or as a prize. I was actually asked specifically to make one from a family friend who will give me a donation in return. Be sure to try it out! Here's how to make it: 

You will need:
  • - 175g/6oz butter or margarine
  • - 175g/6oz soft brown sugar
  • - 3 free-range eggs, beaten
  • - 175g/6oz plain flour
  •  - Pinch salt
  • - 350g/12oz mixed raisins, currants and sultanas
  • - ½ lemon, grated zest only
  • - 1-2 tbsp apricot jam
  • -500g natural marzipan (ready made is best)

Step 1. Preheat your oven to 140C/275F/Gas mark 1. Then, grease and line a 18cm/7in cake tin using grease-proof paper.

Step 2. Start to make the cake by creaming together both the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. If you want to speed things up a little you can use a mixer  but, if you're like me just give it some elbow grease! 

Step 3. Add in each egg one at a time beating between to make sure they are completely mixed into the mixture. Then sift in the flour and salt and mix again.

Step 4. Place your cake mix aside for this step and use a grater to grate 1/2 a lemon zest (or more if you prefer) and add to the mixture. After the zest has been added, get your mixed fruit and place into a separate bowl. Coat the mixed fruit in some plain flour before adding to the mixture. This stops the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the cake as it is cooking.

Step 5. Roll out roughly 1/3 of your marzipan on a hard surface; lightly dusted with icing sugar. Cut out a circle which will comfortably fit in your cake tin.

Step 6. Put half of the mixture into your cake tin. Smooth the top over and cover with the circle of marzipan. Then place the rest of the cake mixture on top and smooth it over leaving a little less mixture in the middle so that the cake can rise. Bake in the oven for 1 3/4 hours. Test the mixture by inserting a wooden skewer, if it comes out clean you cake is ready.

Step 7. Generously spread apricot jam on top of the cooled cake. Roll out another 1/3 or your marzipan and place on top. Then create 11 little balls and using half cut cocktail sticks insert them on top of the cake, making sure they are evenly spaced. 

Step 8. Now, if you're professional (unlike me) and have possession of a cooks blow torch (this would have been fun though) brown the top of the marzipan until it goes a slightly golden brown colour. Alternatively, heat up your grill to the highest setting and brown the marzipan for roughly 1-2 minutes checking every few seconds so that it doesn't burn (you wouldn't want to ruin all of your hardwork now!)

Good luck! 



Wednesday, 16 April 2014

What's happening this week?

Hello fellow fundraisers! I thought I will give you an insight to what's happening on my fundraising journey this week!

Tonight, I am setting up my stall once again at my brother's football match selling: teas, coffees, sweets & chocolate (which proved quite popular for the kids!) in the hope to raise a little bit more towards my fund.

Then on Friday, I am baking cakes that I have been asked to bake in return for a donation towards my expedition. One of them is a bit of a challenge and will reveal my inner Mary Berry as if it goes wrong, well....don't even get me started! Keep your eyes peeled for the recipe! 

Sunday, the thought of Easter egg hunts and chocolate springs to mind, but not for me. Instead, my mum will be standing in a field selling bits and bobs from the boot of her car! Unfortunately, I cannot be at this one as I am at my dads and away in Sheffield - poor mum! But, I will let you know how it goes!  

I also want to give a massive thank you to Leanne at Camps International for sharing my blog and giving me some amazing opportunities!



Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Easter Holidays - April Fundraising

Now that the Easter holidays are upon us, it's the perfect opportunity to get some more fundraising on the go. Easter Sunday we are going to do our first boot sale, we have loads of 'nick nacks' and old games to sell and lots of my friendship bracelets. 

Thursday evening I also baked cakes for a pre-school fayre which I was paid £10 for, for just making 24 individual fairy cakes!

I will also be doing another tuck shop on Wednesday at my brothers football game which last time raised £50 selling chocolate, sweets, teas & coffees. 

Also, I'm currently pet sitting a hamster called Steve (isn't it cute) for a family who have gone on holiday, out of the country, for a week. 

I also got in touch with the local Brownie group who will hopefully be willing to help me out with my fundraising! Fingers crossed!