175g/ 6oz raisins
350g/ 12oz glace cherries, quartered
500g/ 1lb 2oz currants
350g/ 12oz sultanas150ml/ ¼ pint of sherry and extra for feeding
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
250g/ 9oz butter (softened on the back of the aga)
250g/ 9oz light muscovado sugar
4 free range eggs
1 tbsp black treacle
100g/ 4oz blanched almonds, chopped
100g/ 4oz self-raising flour
150g/ 5oz plain flour
2 level teaspoons of mixed spice
How to make:-
- Put all the dried fruit in a container with a lid and pour over the sherry. Stir in the zest of both the orange and lemon. Place the lid tight on top and remember to stir daily. Leave well alone for 3 days!
- Line a 23cm spring form tin with bake-o-glide.
- (if not using an Aga then preheat your oven to 140C/120c fan/gas 1)
- Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds into a large bowl and beat well. Add the flours and spice and mix until blended. Now stir in the mixed thoroughly soaked fruit! Spoon into the cake tin and level the surface.
- At this point I cover the tin in cling film and leave in the fridge over night.
- The next morning place cake in the simmering oven. Grid shelf on the floor and cake atop of that. Bake the cake for anywhere up to 12 hours but for at least 5 hours. Keep checking on it periodically throughout the day.
- (if not using an aga bake in the centre of a preheated oven for 4 – 4 ½ hours or until the cake is firm to touch and is a deep golden brown. Check after a couple of hours and if cake is already the perfect colour than cover with tin foil and pop it back in the oven for the remaining time.
- Leave cake to cool in the tin. When cool, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little more sherry. Wrap the cold cake in grease proof paper and again in foil and store in a cool place for up to 3 months. The best bit is you need to keep feeding it every now and again with more sherry.
- Now give it a nice long rest and remember to cover in almond paste and icing about 2 weeks prior to Christmas.