Subscribe and choose a new cookbook
The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
Put the butter, sugar, chocolate, brandy, vanilla and dried fruits into a large saucepan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until everything has melted together. Remove from the heat.
Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep cake tin, 20cm round or 18cm square, with a double layer of baking parchment. Wrap a few layers of newspaper around the outside and secure with string.
Mix the flour, almonds, cocoa and spice together. Stir the eggs into the slightly cooled chocolate mixture in the saucepan, followed by the flour mixture. Scrape into your prepared tin and bake for 1½ hrs- 1 hr 45 mins or until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Cool in the tin, then decorate (see 'Goes well with', right, for decoration ideas). Greaseproof-wrapped cake will keep for 2 months in an airtight container.