PREP TIME: 1 HOUR / COOK TIME : 4 HOURS / 12 SERVINGS
250g soft dark brown sugar
175g plain flour
100g ground almonds
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g chopped walnuts
700g mixed dried fruit (includes: raisins, currants, sultanas, mixed peel, & glace cherries, chopped)
pinch of salt
200ml orange juice
150ml brandy, rum or tea, plus extra for feeding
2 tsp vanilla extract
200g unsalted butter
- Put the dried fruit, juice, brandy (or alternative) into a container, stir & leave overnight.
- Heat the oven to 300F/150C/140C fan/gas mark 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, making sure it comes at least 3cm above the edge of the tin. Then wrap a double layer of newspaper or brown paper around the outside tying it with string which helps to stop the fruit burning. Add a circle of foil on top of the mixture but poke holes in it to allow the steam to rise.
- Cream the butter, sugar & vanilla extract together in a large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time & stir until well combined. Add the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon, fruit mix & mix & stir well until combined.
- Place the cake mixture into the tin, smooth the top of your cake & place in the oven.
- Bake for 1.5 hours then turn the oven down to 280F/140C/130C fan/gas mark 1, bake for a further 2.5 - 3 hours.
- Cool the cake in the cake tin, then remove, wrap in baking parchment & store in an airtight container, it will keep for 6 months.
- Feed your cake every week by skewering it in several places & sprinkling with 1 tsp of your choice of alcohol, tea or orange juice, & rewrap between feedings.
- Add marzipan, icing & decorations a week before you wish to serve it to give it time to dry.