Place butter, sugar, dried fruit, cherries, a capful of brandy and boiling water into a saucepan.
Boil for 10 mins. Add the spices and 65ml brandy and leave to cool.
Sieve together the flour, bicarb and salt and add to the fruit mixture.
Mix in the beaten egg.
Pour the mixture into a greased and lined 20cm round baking tin. Use good quality baking paper or 2 layers of waxed paper. Make sure the paper is 5cm higher than the tin.
Bake for 1 hour at 150°C and then cover with foil and bake for a further 15 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean.)
Allow to cool in the turned off oven with foil still covering for 20 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely before turning out onto a wire rack. Brush the top and sides with brandy. Cover with waxed paper and place in a cake tin.
The following day, unwrap the cake and inject 25 ml brandy into the sides and centre of the cake using a glue syringe. Wrap well and place in tin.
Repeat step 9 twice before Christmas. This cake is at its best when it has had 8 weeks to mature. This recipe makes a good wedding cake as it can be halved and doubled for multiple tiers and kept to be enjoyed on the first anniversary!
Comments, questions and tips