- 200g dark muscovado sugar
- 175g butter, chopped
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 700g luxury mixed dried fruit
- 50g glacé cherry
- 2 tsp grated fresh root ginger
Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…
- zest and juice 1 orange
One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…
- 100ml dark rum, brandy or orange juice
Rum is a type of spirit based on sugar cane. First produced in the 1600s on slave plantations in…
- 85g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…
- 3 large eggs, beaten
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- 85g ground almonds
arr-mund or al-mund
Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…
- 200g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…
For the icing
- 85g ready-to-roll white icing
- icing sugar, for dusting
- edible gold or silver lustre
- 4 tbsp warm apricot jam
- 400g pack ready-rolled marzipan round
One of mankind’s oldest sources of sweet pleasure, marzipan needs to contain only ground…
- 500g pack fondant icing sugar
You will also need
- gold wrapping ribbon
- ivy shaped cutter
Tip the sugar, butter, dried fruit, whole cherries, ginger, orange zest and juice into a large pan. Pour over the rum, brandy or juice, then put on the heat and slowly bring to the boil, stirring frequently to melt the butter. Reduce the heat and bubble gently, uncovered for 10 mins, stirring every now and again to make sure the mixture doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Set aside for 30 mins to cool.
Stir the nuts, eggs and ground almonds into the fruit, then sift in the flour, baking powder and spices. Stir everything together gently but thoroughly. Your batter is ready.
Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Butter and line a 20cm round tin with baking paper. Spoon the cake mix into the tin and level the top with a spoon dipped into boiling water. Bake for 45 mins, then turn the oven down to 140C/120C fan/gas 1 and bake for 1 hr-1 hr 15 mins more or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. The un-iced cake will keep wrapped in foil for 2 months or will freeze for 1 year.
To decorate the cake, thickly roll out the ready-to-roll icing on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar and stamp out ivy shapes with a cutter. Leave for a few hrs or overnight on baking paper to dry, then rub the surface of the leaves with some of the gold or silver lustre.
Brush the top and sides of the fruit cake liberally with apricot jam, then drape the marzipan over the cake. Smooth over the surface with your hands to give a snug fit, then trim away the excess marzipan with a sharp knife. Lift the cake onto a serving plate.
Make up the fondant icing to a spreading consistency, then swirl over the cake to a rough iced effect. Decorate with a cross of ribbon and the ivy leaves while the icing is still wet so that they stick in position, then leave to set.