With a name that is thought to come from the latin word for fine flour, Simila, this cake was originally associated with Mothering Sunday, and is now a popular part of Easter celebrations, the eleven marzipan balls representing the faithful apostles.
Another theory as to the origin of the name comes from nineteenth century Wiltshire, where apparently a certain Simon and Nell argued over whether the cake should be boiled or baked.
Traditional recipes from around Britain can vary. In Devises, currants, lemon peel and saffron go into a star shaped cake. In Shrewsbury, it is a rich plum cake. Nuts, cherries and peel go into Bury’s version.
The recipe and method I have used here is basically borrowed from Nigella Lawson. I say basically because I have also included some organic brown flour with the plain, and I have added candied orange peel and angelica to the dried fruit instead of glace cherries. I have however followed the instruction to brush with egg-white and blow torch the marzipan.