For the cake
- 1 batch uncooked Hot toddy fruitcake mix (see link below)
- 20cm thin cake board (optional)
- approx 65cm length wide ribbon
For the topping
Make the Hot toddy cake (see link, right) in a loose-bottom tin, holding back about 2 tbsp of the mix for later. While it bakes, bake the fruit and nut topping. Melt the butter and golden syrup together, then toss with the nuts, dried fruit and seeds. Set aside; the butter mix will start to cool and thicken.
Take the cake out of the oven 30 mins before the end of cooking, then gently spread over the remaining cake mix with the back of a spoon. The cake will still be quite soft but will take the weight, don’t worry about it sinking. Scatter the fruit and nut mix over the top in an even layer. Bake for the remaining 30 mins until the cake is cooked and the nuts golden. Test for doneness by poking a skewer through the topping and into the cake. If it’s underdone, but the nuts are golden, just cover with foil and give it another 10 mins; then test again.
Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin, so that the nutty topping firms up. Loosen any obviously sticky edges, then push the cake out of the tin from the bottom. Transfer to a cake board or plate and fix the ribbon around the base before serving. Can be kept in an airtight tin for up to a week.
Most supermarkets stock basic cake-decorating ingredients (marzipan, icing, gold balls) in the baking aisle. Look in the kitchen section of department stores for specialist equipment, or try Squires Kitchen (0845 225 5671; squires-shop.com) or Jane Asher Party Cakes (020 7584 6177; jane-asher.co.uk).