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The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
Put the mixed dried fruit in a large pan with the rum, butter, sugar and citrus zest and juice. Set the pan over a medium heat, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and heat until the butter has melted. Leave to cool for 30 mins.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside and secure with string.
Tip the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and spices into a large bowl. Add the cooled fruit mix along with the syrupy liquid in the pan, then the stem ginger, eggs and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon until there are no pockets of flour.
Tip the mix into the tin, level the top with a spatula and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 2 hrs until cooked through and golden. Remove from the oven, poke holes into the top with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp rum. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
Once cool, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap in fresh parchment and store in an airtight cake tin. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp rum every fortnight, or up to four times until you ice it. Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing. Once iced, the cake will keep in a tin for four weeks. The uniced cake will keep in the freezer for six months.