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The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
Put all the dried fruit, the mixed peel and citrus zests in a large bowl, the pour over the brandy. Stir, cover and leave to soak overnight.
The next day, heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line the base and side of a deep 23cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, so it comes a few centimetres above the rim.
Beat the butter, sugar and treacle together in a large bowl using an electric whisk, until pale and creamy. Alternatively, use a stand mixer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl every so often. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a separate bowl, then stir this into the wet ingredients along with the ground almonds until combined.
Stir in the rehydrated fruit along with the soaking liquid, then spoon the batter into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 2 hrs 25 mins-2 hrs 30 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.If the cake starts to darken too quickly, cover with foil.
Leave to cool completely in the tin, then prick small holes all over the surface using a cocktail stick or skewer and brush over a little brandy. Wrap the cake in baking parchment, then a sheet of foil. Store in an airtight container and feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp brandy each week for three or four weeks, stopping the week before you want to ice it. Will keep in a cool, dry place for six months.