350g Margarine (at room temperature)
350g dark brown sugar
150g cherries washed, dried and halved.
150g mixed peel
150g chopped almonds
Grated rind of 2 lemons
Grated rind of 2 oranges
425g plain flour
1 ½ level teaspoon mixed spice
½ level teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 oz/75g ground almonds
7 large eggs
3 tbsp whiskey
Oven Temperature: Pre-heat to 140 C
Shelf: Shelf below centre.
Size of Tin: 9 inch round.
Approximate Baking Time: 5-6 hours.
Brush the tin with melted margarine and line the bottom and sides with double greaseproof paper. Line the outside of the tin with brown paper and tie off with a piece of string.
Soak the sultanas, raisin, cherries, chopped almonds, mixed peel, grated oranges and lemons and ground almonds in the whiskey overnight. (Add the juices of the oranges to the fruit for taste)
Sieve the flour, mixed spice and ground nutmeg into a bowl, add in the sugar, mix in the margarine with a wooden spoon, until all the dry ingredients are moist, make a well in mixture and add the beaten eggs to the mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed, add soaked fruit to mixture gradually until well mixed.
Place the mixture in the prepared tin and smooth the top with the back of a wet tablespoon.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 5-6 hours, depending on oven. After 1 hour, cover the cake with double greaseproof paper, to prevent the top of the cake from becoming too brown.
Test the cake by pushing a clean warm skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean with no uncooked mixture clinging to it, the cake is ready. At this stage there should be no sizzling noise to be heard from the cake.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin over night. Turn out and remove greaseproof paper from around tin.
Wrap in double greaseproof paper and foil then store in a cool place.
- Soak fruit 6 - 8 weeks before Christmas.
- Bake your cake either the day after soaking fruit or up to 1 week after soaking fruit.
- 1 week after baking, unwrap cake and sprinkle 1 cap of whiskey over one side of cake - rewrap.
- 2 weeks after baking, unwrap cake and sprinkle 1 cap of whiskey over opposite side of cake - rewrap.
- 2 weeks before Christmas, almond ice your cake.
- 1 week before Christmas, royal ice your cake and decorate as you wish.