Recipes by Di Swann
1. The day before making the cake, place the dried fruit mix into a bowl with the lemon and orange zest. Pour over the lemon juice and first measure of brandy and stir to mix well. Cover with cling film and leave to stand overnight.
2. Line the base and sides of a deep-sided 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking paper. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
3.Beat together in a large bowl the softened butter, Chelsea Dark Cane Sugar and Chelsea Golden Syrup until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs a small amount at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and ground almonds and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the soaked mix fruit and stir to combine. Spoon into the prepared cake tin. Level off the top evenly with the back of a spoon.
5. Bake for approximately 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 hours until golden and cooked. A skewer inserted into the middle of the cake will be clean. You may need to cover the top of the cake with baking paper three quarters of the way through the cooking time if it is getting too brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cake rack. Allow to cool in the tin.
6. When the cake has cooled pour over the second measure of brandy and allow it to soak through. Wrap the cake in a clean sheet of greaseproof or baking paper and then foil. Place in an airtight tin in a cool dry place.
Glazed Fruit and Nut Topping
1. Place Brazil nuts and almonds on a baking tray and place in a preheated 200°C oven for approximately 5 minutes until the nuts are golden. Remove from the oven and cool.
2. Cut the dried apricots and peaches in half and place in a bowl with cherries, almonds and Brazil nuts.
3. Heat and stir apricot jam and water until boiling. Allow to boil for 1 minute or until reduced by 25%. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve to remove any apricot pieces. When cool pour over the fruits and nuts and mix to glaze.
4. Place the cake on a board or flat surface. If the top is uneven, trim with a sharp knife to make a flat surface. Spoon the glazed fruits and nuts over the top of the cake to decorate. Stand to allow the topping to stick. Wrap a festive ribbon around the cake.
Note: Vary the selection of fruit and nuts for the topping as desired.