Your go-to recipe for a Christmas dessert essential!
3 cups sultanas (430g)
1 cup dried cranberries (120g)
¾ cup chopped raisins
¾ cup chopped pitted dates
½ cup chopped pitted prunes
½ cup chopped glace cherries
¾ cup brandy
250g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
?1 tblsp finely grated lemon rind
1 tblsp finely grated orange rind
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup slivered almonds
2 tblsps plum jam
2 cups plain flour
3 tsps mixed spice
250g white fondant
Pure icing sugar, for dusting
1 Combine all fruit and ½ cup of the brandy in an extra-large bowl. Stand, covered, overnight. Stir occasionally.
2 Next day, grease a 22cm round x 7.5cm deep cake pan. Line base and side with three layers of brown paper, then three layers
of baking paper, both extending 5cm above edge of pan.
3 Beat butter, sugar and rinds in a small bowl of an electric mixer until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Mixture will look curdled at this stage. Don’t overbeat. Stir butter mixture into fruit mixture with almonds and jam.
4 Sift combined flour and spice over top. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix until well combined. Spoon into prepared pan. Level surface.
5 Cook in a very slow oven (120C) for about 4 hours, or until cooked when tested (cover loosely with foil during cooking if top starts to over-brown). Remove. Brush top with remaining brandy. Wrap hot cake and pan in a clean tea towel. Cool completely in pan.
6 To decorate, knead fondant on a clean surface dusted with icing sugar until smooth. Roll out to 1cm thickness. Using a 6cm leaf cutter, cut out 24 leaves.
7 Remove cake from pan. Arrange leaves around edge, slightly overlapping. Top cake with Christmas decorations.
TIP: Wrap cold cake well in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to