About this recipe:For the best flavour, this cake needs to be made about a month in advance. Fruit is soaked in bourbon, then baked in a bourbon-spiked batter, before being liberally brushed with more bourbon.
Makes: 1 26cm tube cake
450g red glace cherries, halved
400g caster sugar
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
450g dark brown soft sugar
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
625g plain flour
450g chopped pecans
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Preheat oven to 140 C / Gas 1. Grease a 26cm tube cake tin and line bottom with baking parchment.
Soak raisins and cherries in 475ml bourbon for 48 hours. Before making cake, drain well and reserve the bourbon.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, nutmeg and baking powder. Set aside.
In a small bowl, cream butter with the caster sugar. In a separate small bowl, cream yolks and dark brown soft sugar until very light.
In a very large bowl, combine the two sugar mixtures and blend well.
Alternately add flour mixture and reserved bourbon in three stages, mixing well with each addition.
Add soaked fruit and fold in. Add nuts and fold in.
In a clean medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter until evenly distributed.
Pour into prepared tin. Place a tin of water in the bottom of the oven and bake for 4 to 5 hours at 140 C / Gas 1. Ovens vary, so watch the baking time. Test cake with skewer. (May take longer than 5 hours).
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out. When almost cool, brush sides and inside hole heavily with bourbon. Wrap cake with bourbon soaked cheesecloth, then with cling film. Refrigerate overnight and saturate again with bourbon. Cover with cling film and then with foil and store for at least 2 weeks in a cool dry place.