Rich Christmas fruit cake

Recipe

Preparation time:

30 minutes + marinating fruit overnight or up to 1 month

Cooking time:

3 hours

Serves:

22cm square cake tin

Ingredients:

Cake
375g mixed fruit
250g sultanas
250g currants
90g glace apricots or peaches
90g glace pineapple
125g glace cherries
125g glace ginger
60g mixed peel
125ml brandy
125ml rum
250g butter
125g brown sugar
125g caster sugar
2 tbsp orange marmalade
125g slivered almonds
60g almond meal
250g plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
1 large green apple, peeled and grated

Cake topping
80g blanched whole almonds
80g glace red cherries, halved, optional
60ml brandy, extra
60ml rum, extra

Preparation:

Fruit cake

1. Place all of the fruit, brandy and rum in a large glass bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to soak overnight or for up to 1 month in a cool dark place, stir every few days.
2. Grease a 22cm square cake tin and line with one layer of brown paper and one layer of baking paper, ensuring the paper extends 5cm above the top of the tin. Preheat oven on Hot air 140°C or Hot air 140°C + 30% Humidity.
3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the marmalade and eggs one at a time. Stir through the almonds and almond meal.
4. Add all of the remaining ingredients and ensure the mixture is well combined.
5. Spoon a quarter of the mixture into the prepared cake tin and ensure that it is pressed into the corners and edges of the tin. Add the remaining mixture and press the mixture to evenly fill the tin. Use a dampened hand to smooth the top of the cake.
6. Decorate the top of the cake with the blanched almonds and cherries. Cook the cake for 3 to 3½ hours or until cake is cooked when tested with a cake skewer.
7. Remove the cake from the oven and skewer the cake all over.

To finish

1. Pour over extra brandy and rum. Cover the top of the cake with a piece of paper, then wrap the cake in the tin with a large towel and allow to cool overnight, wrapped.
2. The next day, wrap the cake in plastic wrap or store in an air-tight container.