Mich says: ‘This recipe is made by melting the butter and sugar together first, then stirring in the fruits. This ensures the cake is really moist and fruity and bakes to give a dense, even result, whilst at the same time remaining flat on the top, which makes it perfect for using as a base for decorating.’
- 20cm (8in) round or square tin
- 250g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 360g naturally coloured glacé cherries, halved
- 320g sultanas
- 450g raisins
- 550g currants
- 225ml brandy
- 260g dark muscovado sugar
- 1 tbsp treacle
- 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 240g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 40g glacé ginger
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Grease and line a deep cake tin with non-stick baking paper or use a non-stick cake tin. Wash the fruits and drain through a sieve. Tip into a bowl, and pour the brandy over the mixture. Leave to steep for up to 6 hours.
Preheat the oven. Ensure all the ingredients are at room temperature. Melt the butter and sugar together in a saucepan, stirring until well mixed, then pour into a mixing bowl. Add the treacle and mix well, then add the eggs and mix again. Sift in the flour, baking powder and spices and fold in well, then stir in the steeped fruit and remaining liquid, the glacé ginger and vanilla extract.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake, 21/2 hours on 140°C gas mark 1, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin and turn out when cold.
TO STORE Wrap in a double layer of greaseproof paper and a layer of foil. Store at room temperature to mature for up to 6 weeks prior to the event. Once covered in marzipan and icing, this cake will keep for a further 6 months at room temperature. Alternatively, store in the freezer wrapped in a double layer of greaseproof paper and double layer of foil pretty much indefinitely.
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It is delicious on its own or can be covered in the traditional combination of marzipan and icing.