800g mixed dried fruit
75g glace cherries cut in half
300g plain flour
I t ground cinnamon
A little freshly grated nutmeg
125g ground almonds
150g softened unsalted butter
150g dark muscovado sugar
4 large eggs
I t cocoa powder
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
6t apricot jam
900g ready-to-roll fondant icing
· Soak the glace cherries in the brandy for 24-48 hours.
· Lightly grease the cake tin & line with greaseproof paper.
· Sift the flour with the cinnamon, a pinch of salt & a little nutmeg.
· Whisk the butter until creamy & add sugar gradually until light and fluffy.
· Beat in the eggs & add the flour mixture & almonds, then the fruit and its liquid.
· Add the cocoa and bicarbonate of soda.
· Bake at 150°C for 1hr.
· Wrap in greaseproof paper and foil, and store in a cool, dry place. Every week for the first four weeks, prick the base of the cake and spoon 1t brandy over the top. For the last two weeks, leave to dry.
· 5 To decorate the cake, warm half the apricot jam and spread thin layer over the top and sides.
· Position marzipan over the top of the cake, press down lightly, and trim any excess. Cover with greaseproof paper and leave in a cool, dry place for two days.
· Warm the remaining jam and spread over the marzipan. Cover the cake with white icing as with the marzipan.