Prep 30 mins
Cook 3 hrs
The secret in this recipe is that the brandy soaked fruits are blended making the cake more appealing for people who aren't so keen on fruit cakes. I start soaking the fruit a month ahead.
- 200 g sultanas
- 200 g raisins
- 200 g prunes, chopped in half
- 175 g dates, chopped
- 200 g apricots
- 175 g mixed candied citrus peel
- 150 ml dark beer (stout or porter beer)
- 150 ml brandy (or dark rum)
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine
- 1 orange, juice and zest of
- 100 g brazil nuts, chopped
- 100 g hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- 100 g walnuts, chopped
- 250 g self raising flour
- 200 g ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 225 g unsalted butter
- 225 g dark muscovado sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 lemon, juice and zest of
- Soak the fruits and chopped peel in a bowl and pour over the orange juice and brandy, beer and sherry.
- Mix well and store in a cool dark place, stiring every few weeks. the fruits are ready when soft and very plump.If tehy look dry add a splash or brandy or orange juice.
- Heat oven to 150°C grease a 20 cm round cake tin, about 8 cm deep. Line with a double layer of baking paper.
- Blitz the soaked friut in 4 batches, leaving the last batch only lightly to keep some texture in the cake.
- Mix in the flour,almonds and spices in a large bowl, add the lemon juice, zest and fruits then mix with your hands. It will be hard to mix, don't worry.
- Cream the butter with the sugar with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.Stir into the flour mixture, then add the nuts.
- Place in the prepared cake tin and bake1 1/2 hours then reduce heat to 140C and bake a further 2-3 hours, Checking with a skewer it should come out clean.
- Cool 5 minutes in tin then remove and cool on a wire rack.
- When cool wrap in grease proof paper and foil, 'feeding' it brandy every 2 weeks. The cake can be made 3 months ahead and kept like this until ready to ice.