Heat oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Butter
and double line the base and sides of a 20cm
square deep cake tin with baking parchment. Grind 100g of the
pecans in a food processor.
Chop up the butter and put in a large
heavy-based pan with the sugar, cranberries,
apricots, orange zest and juice and brandy.
Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the
butter is melted, then simmer for 10 mins
until the fruits are plump and glossy. Remove
from the heat and cool for 30 mins.
Beat the eggs lightly. Sift together the flour,
baking powder, ground ginger and cinnamon.
Stir the eggs, ground pecans, remaining
pecan halves, flour mixture and crystallised
ginger into the pan, stirring until well mixed.
Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth
the top. Bake for 1 hr, then reduce the
temperature to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1 and
cook for a further 1½-2 hrs, until the cake
feels firm and a skewer inserted into the
centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for
10 mins, turn out, then remove the paper
and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Warm the jam with 1 tbsp water, then press
through a sieve into a bowl. Put the cake on
a board and brush the top with a thin layer
of jam, reserving some for later. Lightly dust
a surface with icing sugar, then roll out the
marzipan to slightly larger than the top of the
cake. Lift onto the cake, press on lightly, then
trim to meet the edges. Cut in half.
Brush the remaining jam over the marzipan,
then decorate the tops with dried fruits, nuts
and other ingredients of your choice. Wrap
each cake first in baking parchment, then in
foil. Store in the tin for up to 3 weeks. Can be
frozen for up to 2 months.