An exotic addition to Christmas this year!
1 cup chopped raisins
1 cup currants
½ cup chopped mixed glace fruits (pear, apricots, peaches), firmly packed
½ cup chopped red glace cherries
¹/³ cup mixed peel
¹/³ cup finely chopped glace ginger
¼ cup brandy
200g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
½ cup caster sugar
2 tsps finely grated lemon rind
6 egg yolks
2 tblsps rosewater
1 tsp almond essence
1 cup pistachios (120g)
½ cup ginger marmalade
1 cup fine semolina
¼ cup plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground nutmeg
4 egg whites
330g packet royal icing
Sugar-frosted rose petals (see tip)
1 Combine fruit, peel, ginger and brandy in an extra-large bowl. Stir to combine. Stand, covered, overnight and stir occasionally.
2 Next day, line base and side of a 20cm round x 7.5cm deep cake pan with three layers of brown paper, then three layers of baking paper, extending 5cm above edge of pan.
3 Beat butter, sugar and rind in a small bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in yolks, one at a time. Add rosewater and essence. Beat until combined. Stir butter mixture into fruit mixture with nuts and marmalade.
4 Sift combined semolina, flour and spices over top. Using a wooden spoon, stir until well combined.
5 Beat egg whites in a clean, small bowl of an electric mixer until firm peaks form. Fold egg whites into fruit mixture in two batches. Spoon into prepared pan. Level surface.
6 Cook in a slow oven (150C) for 1 hour. Reduce oven to very slow (120C). Cook for a further 2 hours, or until cooked when tested. Remove from oven. Wrap hot cake and pan in a clean tea towel. Cool completely in pan.
7 To decorate, make icing according to packet directions, using 70ml water.
8 Remove cake from pan and place on a wire rack. Pour icing over centre of cake. Using a spatula, push icing towards edge of cake, allowing it to drip over the side. Top with sugar-frosted rose petals.
TIP: To make sugar-frosted rose petals, brush petals with egg white and coat in caster sugar. Leave to dry. Make sure you use rose petals grown without pesticides or fertilisers.