The Bakes

Chelsea Buns

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Made with fresh yeast and two medium eggs, the spongy buttery dough has risen beautifully.

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I’ve experimented a little with the filling. Apart from including a few chopped dried apricots with the usual sultanas and raisins, there’s crystallised ginger and the grated zest of a lemon.

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A mixture of dark brown sugar, golden syrup, apricot jam, milk and butter has gone into the sticky pre-bake glaze.

The result is a slightly caramelised, slightly spicy, batch of pearl-sugar-sprinkled spirals of sweetness.

I am a happy baker.

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Simnel Cake

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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