8 Hours 30 - minutes
This recipe makes a rich, moist fruit cake which is ready to eat or may be stored for up to 6 weeks in advance to allow flavours to mature. Feed with a tablespoon of brandy every few weeks for added flavour.
75g ground almonds
1 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
165g butter, softened
165g dark soft brown sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
450g mixed dried fruit (200g currants, 125g sultanas, 125g raisins)
85g pitted dates
60g glace cherries
11/2 tbsp black treacle
1 large orange (grated zest and 125ml juice and water if necessary)
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1. Line the base and sides of a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of greased baking parchment paper ensuring the sides of the paper come up at least 5cm above the top rim of the tin.
2. Place soaking mix ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Cover and microwave for 2 minutes, stir and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir and set aside to soak for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.
3. Beat the butter and sugar together until soft and creamy with an electric whisk, add all the other cake ingredients and beat together for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the soaked fruit.
4. Spoon mixture into the prepared tin. Smooth the top surface with a spatula.
5. Place on the bottom shelf of a preheated oven and cook for 4 hours at 150oC/130oC Fan/ 300oF/Gas Mark 2.
6. Test the cake to check if it is cooked by inserting skewer. If the cake requires additional cooking retest every 20 minutes. Rest cooked cake on a cooling tray and leave until completely cold before turning out. Store cooled cake in an airtight tin or wrapped in foil and keep in a cool place for 6-8 weeks.
7. Marzipan and ice with fondant or royal icing as required.