150g mixed peel
100g glacé cherries, halved
75ml brandy, plus extra for feeding
2 oranges, zest and juice
1 lemon, zest and juice
250g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
225g dark brown soft sugar
1 egg yolk
300g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ nutmeg, grated
3 tbsp black treacle
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g whole almonds, roughly chopped
- Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus soaking overnight
- Cooking time: 3-4 hours
- Total time: 4hours 40minutes, plus soaking overnight
1. In a large bowl, mix all the dried fruits with the brandy, citrus zests and juices. Cover with cling film and leave in a cool place overnight or for up to 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 140˚C, gas mark 1. Grease a deep 23cm springform cake tin and line with a double layer of parchment paper, to at least 6cm above the sides of the tin. Wrap the tin in a double layer of brown parcel paper (or newspaper) 2-3cm above the sides of the tin; tie with string.
3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and eggs, one at a time, beating well with a few tbsp of the flour between each. Mix in the remaining ingredients, then fold in the soaked fruit. Spoon into the tin and even out the surface.
4. Bake for 2 hours until set on top, then cover with two circles of parchment paper. Check the cake every 30 minutes until it is firm to touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. This will take 3-4 hours, or longer, depending on your oven.
5. Remove from the oven and pierce a dozen holes in the surface. Pour over 3 tbsp brandy and cool in the tin for 45 minutes. Take out of the tin, transfer to a wire rack, remove the parchment and leave to cool completely.
6. Once cool, feed the cake again with more brandy and leave to soak in. Wrap in a double layer of parchment, cover tightly with foil and continue to feed until needed. Top with fondant icing, if liked.