Put the butter, sugar, fruit, zests,
juice and 100ml/3½fl oz brandy in
a large pan. Bring slowly to the boil,
stirring until the butter has melted.
Reduce the heat and bubble for
10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pan from the heat
and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to
150C/gas 2/ fan 130C and line a 20cm round
cake tin. Toast the
nuts in a dry frying pan, tossing
them until evenly browned, or in the
oven for 8-10 minutes - keep an
eye on them as they burn easily.
When they are cool, chop roughly.
Stir the eggs, nuts and ground
almonds into the fruit mixture and
mix well. Sift the flour, baking
powder and spices into the pan.
Stir in gently, until there are no
traces of flour left.
Spoon the mixture into the tin
and smooth it down evenly - you will find this is easiest with the
back of a metal spoon
which has been dipped into
Bake for 45 minutes, then
turn down the heat to 140C/gas
1/ fan120C and cook for a further
1-1¼ hours (about a further 1¾
hours if you have a gas oven)
until the cake is dark golden in
appearance and firm to the
touch. Cover the top of the cake
with foil if it starts to darken too
much. To check the cake is done,
insert a fine skewer into the
centre - if it comes out clean, the
cake is cooked.
Make holes all over the warm
cake with a fine skewer and
spoon the extra 4tbsp brandy
over the holes until it has all
soaked in. Leave the cake to cool
in the tin. When it's cold, remove it
from the tin, peel off the lining
paper, then wrap first in baking
parchment and then in foil. The
cake will keep in a cupboard for up
to three months or you can freeze
it for six months.