- 1 well-scrubbed orange freshly squeezed juice and finely grated zest.
- 1 unwaxed lemon, freshly squeezed juice and finely grated zest.
- 500g mixed dried fruit
- 225g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 175g Biona Organic Sunflower Spread
- 175g Biona Organic Coconut Sugar
- 4 tbsp Biona Organic Coconut Oil, melted
Simnel Almond Balls:
- 80g Almond Paste
- 40g Biona Organic Coconut Flour
- 8 tbsp Biona Organic Coocnut Blossom Nectar
Put the orange and lemon juice in a non-stick saucepan and add the dried fruit. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat and bubble for two minutes, stirring constantly until the liquid diappears. Remove from the heat, tip onto a large plate and leave to cool.
Butter and line the base and sides of a 20cm/8in loose-based deep round cake tin with two layers of baking parchment. Mix the flour and mixed spice in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs together in another bowl.
Preheat the oven to 170C/ 150C (fan)/ Gas 3
Put the sunflower spread and coconut sugar into an electric food mixer and beat for 3-4 minutes
Slowly add the beaten eggs, a little at a time beating well after each addition. If you add them too quickly the batter may curdle, so you'll need to beat in a couple of tabelspoons of the flour mixture and then continue.
Turn off the motor and add all the flour mixture to the batter in two batches. Beat in very slowly then remove the bowl from the stand, if necessary, and stir in the dried fruit, orange and lemon zest. Spoon the cake mixture into the lined cake time and smooth the surface as evenly as you can.
Bake the cake for about 1 hour 40 minutes, or until well risen, firm and golden brown.
Now make the almond balls. Mix the almond paste, coconut syrup and coconut flour together. Divide the almond mixture into two equal balls.
When it is cooked, remove the cake from the oven but leave it to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Then remove from the tin, peel off the lining paper, put the cake on a wire rack and leave to cool. To decorate, turn the cooled cake upside down and place on a baking tray (turning the cake upside down will give you a flatter surface for decorating).
Take one of the almond mixture balls and roll out on the parchment into a circle around 5mm thick and just a little larger than the cake tin. Place the cake tin on top of the rolled almond mixture and use it as template to cut out a circle the same size as the tin.
Brush the surface of the cake with melted coconut oil and cover with the almond circle. Flute or pinch the almond mixture all the way around the edge. Using the tip of the knife, score a criss-cross pattern over the almond mixture in two directions at roughly 25cm/1in intervals.
Form the remaining almond mixture into 11 balls. Each of the balls needs to weigh 16-20g so you will have a little almond mixture left over - you don't want the balls to be too large. Dab one side of each ball with a little of the coconut oil and place around the edge of the cake.
Transfer the cake to a board or cake plate and wrap with a wide ribbon. Cut into slices to serve.