Monday, March 24, 2008

Simon and Nell boiled cake?

OK, so I'd like to talk Simnel Cake. Here we are, enjoying one, but I'll be the first to say that I knew nothing of this particular Easter cake before. According to foodie Dudley at

The name simnel is derived from the old French word simenel via the Latin term used to describe the finest flour for baking cakes, simila.

There is a suggestion, however, that simnel comes from a legend when a man named Simon and his wife, Nell, were debating whether to bake or boil the cake for Mothering Sunday. In the end, they did both and modestly named the cake after them ­ Sim-Nell

OK class, so which theory do you prefer? I'm no Delia Smith when we come to the subject of cake-making, but boiling? Baking AND boiling?

Check out the recipe I found, by Mary Berry. I don't see where it says 'now boil your cake', do you?
It's interesting how Mary Berry used 11, not 12 marzipan balls atop her cake. The balls symbolise Christ's Apostles, and people use 11 or 12 depending on whether they think Judas should be counted or not.

Our one (pictured) had 12 balls. I guess Supermarket chains don't like to leave anyone out.

Now, chocolate eggs!
Yes, my one is huge, and white, the best chocolate made by my favourite English chocolatier, Thorntons. They ice any name on your egg for free. These are our Hawaiian names (if all that chocolate wasn't sickly enough to make you nauseous) iced on my egg, and Eric's brown bear. It's a Canadian thing.

I got to see my cat, Sam, on Easter Sunday.
He resides at my folks house (he's set in his ways, plus another hungry mouth to feed right now etc. etc) and is neither a chocolate nor a simnel cake fan, so was pretty moody. He likes to bite my huge beady necklaces like teething rings lately.

On Monday, I got up early and, deciding against going to an audition which would mean relocating to Tokyo, hauled my behind to the gym to work off some of that white chocolate. My gym is on the top floor of the Bentall's Centre, known to all Saaf Laandiners with no elocution lessons like myself and Amy Winehouse as the 'Benoo Cenaah'.
There's something really foreboding about a mall with nobody in it.

In other news, sometimes it snows in London. This is Wimbledon station,
and this is snow.
Yes, I know many Canadians/Norwegians etc. will scoff at my statement, but these kind of swirly snowy situations are rare for March in London.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on your decision to "haul my behind to the gym to work off some of that white chocolate." Not always easy after a day of fine dining but oh so necessary to keep that dancer physique. Snow in London?!?!? Whodah thunk it?

Ex-Shammickite said...

I always meant to make one of them there Simnel Cakes, but never had a recipe. So now you have provided the recipe, I've got no excuse... except I have no idea what "muscavado sugar" might be.
So I guess... no Simnel cake jwill be gracing my kitchen just yet.