PREP TIME: 1 HOUR / COOK TIME: 4 HOURS / 12 SERVINGS
250g soft dark brown sugar
175g plain flour
100g ground almonds
1 tsp xanthan gum
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)
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
pinch of salt
200ml orange juice
150ml brandy, rum or tea, plus extra for feeding
2 tsp vanilla extract
200ml/180g rapeseed or sunflower oil
- Put the dried fruit, juice, brandy (or alternative), rapeseed oil & sugar into a large pan & set over a medium heat. Give it a good mix, bring to the boil, then lower the heat & simmer for 5 mins until the sugar has dissolved. Tip the mixture into a large bowl & leave to cool for 30 mins.
- 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.
- Mix the ground flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of water, leave to sit for 10 mins until the water is absorbed.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture, along with the flaxseed mix & stir well, making sure that there are no pockets of flour. Tip into your prepared tin. Level the top with a spoon, & 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.