Step 1: Put all the dried fruits together in a bowl and mix in the Almond, Vanilla and Lemon Extracts along with 45ml (3 tbsp) brandy, if using, and the mixed spice. Mix well and set aside whilst preparing the tin.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C Fan oven, 300°F, gas mark 2). Cut an 18cm (7inch) circle of brown parcel paper and place in the bottom of a deep 18cm (7inch) round tin. Lay 2 circles of baking parchment on top. Grease the sides and line with 2 layers of baking parchment.
Step 3: Measure round the outside of the tin, and also the depth plus 2.5cm (1inch). Cut a double thickness band of brown paper to these measurements and secure tightly round the outside of the tin either with a piece of string, metal paper clips or staples. Set aside.
Step 4: In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with the sugar and treacle until well blended and creamy in texture. Gradually whisk in the eggs and stir in the ground almonds. Sift the flour and Baking Powder on top. Carefully mix together until thoroughly combined.
Step 5: Add the fruit and all the liquid from the bowl and mix together well then spoon into the cake tin, smoothing the top. Make an indent in the centre to help achieve a flat rise. Bake in the oven for about 2 hours until rich brown and firm to the touch – a skewer inserted into the centre will come out clean when the cake is cooked.
Step 6: Put the cake tin on a wire rack and remove the brown paper collar. If using brandy, skewer the cake about 12 times all over the top of the cake and then carefully spoon over a further 30ml (2 tbsp) brandy. Leave the cake to cool completely before removing from the tin.
Step 7: Discard all the wrappings from the sides and base of the cake, and wrap well in fresh parchment followed by a layer of foil. Store in an airtight container for at least 1 month before decorating.
Step 8: To decorate, a couple of days before you want to serve your cake, take 75g (3oz) Regal Ice and knead gently to soften and make pliable – keep the remaining Regal Ice tightly wrapped in order to prevent it from drying out. Lightly dust the work surface with icing sugar and roll out the Regal Ice thinly. Using assorted sized star and snowflake cutters, stamp out about 30 different shapes and place on a tray lined with baking parchment. Cover loosely with more parchment and put the tray in a dry, cool place for at least 24 hours until the shapes are dry and firm enough to be able to arrange on top of the cake.
Step 9: When you're ready to serve the cake, unwrap it and discard all the wrappings. Using a large serrated knife, carefully cut the cake into 3 equal layers.
Step 10: Gently knead the Marzipan to soften and make pliable, then divide into 3 equal pieces. Lightly dust the work surface with icing sugar, roll each piece out to form an 18cm (7inch) round - use the cake tin base as a guide. Brush one side of each portion of cake with apricot jam and lay a circle of marzipan on top of each. Stack up the cake slices, pushing down gently to secure, neaten the edges as necessary, and then transfer to a serving plate or board.
Step 11: Gently knead the remaining Regal Ice to soften and make pliable, then roll out thickly to form a circle to fit the top of the cake. Transfer to the cake top and using your finger tips, dusted with icing sugar, smooth and neaten the edges, and then smooth over the top.
Step 12: To serve, arrange the cut out stars and snowflakes over the top of the cake and decorate with Chocolate Silver Pearls. Your cake is now ready to serve and enjoy!
This recipe for fruit cake makes a moist, fruity and flavoursome cake. Like all rich fruit cakes, it improves with keeping. If well wrapped and stored correctly, it will keep fresh for many months.
One way of improving this cake even more is to unwrap the cake every month, skewer the top and add a further 15-30ml (1-2tbsp) brandy (dark rum or whiskey work just as well as flavourings if preferred). Wrap the cake up again and store as before. You will end up with a wonderfully moist and very rich, fruity and boozy cake!
|Per Serving||Per 100 g / ml|
|Fat||13.86 g||10.83 g|
|Carbohydrate||78.67 g||61.46 g|
|Protein||5.48 g||4.28 g|