This is from the McDougalls cookbook. I think it's Christmas Cake 2 (the richer of the two recipes it lists) The original recipe calls for only 2 oz of cherries, but I think we normally use nearer 4 or 5 oz. You're also supposed to add a couple of tablespoons of alcohol at the cooking stage, but we always feed this cake as we go along. Normally, we give this cake a couple of months to mature before Christmas comes. Regarding the gravy browning....during and after WW2, when the UK had rationing, rich fruit cakes were often "dyed" to a darker brown colour with gravy browning since dried egg, grated potato, grated carrot, etc don't make a proper rich fruit cake. I suspect that this was originally an austerity recipe which has had it's butter, eggs and sugar added to it again but no-one thought to remove the gravy browning. To me the search for the browning that we haven't used since last time is part of making the cake ;o) so I'll leave it in, even though it really isn't necessary any more!