About this recipe:I've been making this cake for over 10 years. Each year it changes slightly - whether just the alcohol I soak the fruit in or sometimes something else (one year I made my own mixed spice - it was great but I could never replicate it!)
Place fruit in bowl and cover with spirit of your choice and leave to soak at least overnight. Keep bowl covered with cling film if soaking longer.
Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Grease a 20cm tin and line with greaseproof paper.
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the beaten eggs to the butter and sugar and mix.
Add spices to flour and sieve into the mixture and fold in.
Add almonds (ground and chopped), fruit (including any leftover liquid) and remaining ingredients, mixing through. Put mix in tin with a small well in the middle. (I usually have a small amount of mixture left over which I use to make individual cup cakes which the family can 'test'.)
Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven down to 140 C / Gas 1 and bake for a further 2 hours. Check progress after about an hour.
Check with skewer to ensure fully cooked. The skewer should come out dry and clean.
Once cooked, leave to cool. This should then be stored in an airtight container. About once a week, 'feed' the cake with 1 or 2 teaspoons of your chosen alcohol by sprinkling onto the base. This ensures a nice moist cake.
You may decorate any way you choose. I traditionally use marzipan and icing.
I tried making this in a 22cm heart shaped tin and it came out burnt and was a complete failure. So I doubled up on the quantity, added a tsp of bicarb and cooked it for about 5 hours at 140 degrees centegrade.
It looks much better, just hope it tastes as good as it smelt while it was cooking. - 15 Oct 2011
I made this very fruity, boozy cake. After an hour in the oven at 170c ,turned it down to 140c , tested the cake after 1 hour and twenty minutes and it was ready. Any longer and it would have burnt. I didn't bother to ice it. It tasted great, my husband enjoyed it. Would make again. - 17 Dec 2015