For the marzipan


  • STEP 1

    Put the cherries, dried fruit and kirsch in a heatproof bowl, cover and microwave for 2 mins. Cool.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oven to 185C/130C fan/gas 2. Butter a 20cm springform cake tin that’s about 7cm deep, then double-line with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar using an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, flour, ground almonds, mixed spice and vanilla until well combined, then stir in the cooled fruit mixture and the pecans. Tip the batter into the tin and bake for 2 hrs until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If any wet batter clings to the skewer, bake for a further 10 mins, then check again. Cool in the tin for 15 mins, then put on a wire rack to cool fully.

  • STEP 3

    While the cake is in the oven, make the marzipan. Blitz the pistachios in a blender until finely chopped. Add the almonds and icing sugar, and pulse to combine. Tip in the vanilla bean paste and egg white, and pulse again until it comes together. Tip the mixture out onto a clean work surface and knead for a few minutes to make sure everything is fully combined. Put in an airtight container and chill until needed. Will keep chilled for a day.

  • STEP 4

    When the cake is completely cool, remove the marzipan from the fridge and roll two-thirds of it into a ½cm-thick disc big enough to cover the cake. Brush the top of the cake with some apricot jam, then lay the marzipan on top, trimming any excess. Roll the offcuts and the remaining marzipan into 11 equal-sized balls. Dab a little apricot jam onto the base of each ball, then stick to the top of the cake in a circle around the edge. If you like, slide under a hot grill for 1-2 mins until the marzipan is golden, but watch it closely as it can burn quickly. Will keep in an airtight container for up to five days.

Goes well with


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