- 1kg mixed dried fruit (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
- zest and juice 1 orange
One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…
- zest and juice 1 lemon
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- 150ml brandy, Sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding
Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…
- 250g pack butter, softened
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 200g light soft brown sugar
- 175g plain flour
- 100g ground almond
- ½ tsp baking powder
Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 100g flaked almond
- 4 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
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Put the dried fruit, zests and juice, alcohol, butter and sugar in a large pan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.
Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.
Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour. Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.
Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it. Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.
Get-ahead for Christmas by making this cake on Stir-up Sunday. It's the last Sunday before Advent, is the traditional start of the Christmas season, and falls on 23 Nov in 2014. It is thought that the name originated from the collect for the day from the Book of Common Prayer, which begins: ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord…’ and unintentionally reminds churchgoers that it’s time to make the Christmas pudding!
Feeding your cake
Feed your cake every fortnight for up to 2 months. If you notice your cake is going dark early on and you’re worried about it burning on the top cover it with some foil or baking parchment. If you prefer not to feed your cake with alcohol try using tea instead.