About this recipe:This is a classic Christmas fruit cake, ideal for feeding family and friends when celebrating the festivities. Get started on this cake early, mid to late November, giving it time to mature with the fortnightly addition of brandy.
Put the dried fruit, zests and juice, brandy, butter and sugar in a large saucepan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Leave on the side for about 30 minutes then add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well.
Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a layer of baking parchment.
Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the top.
Bake in the preheated oven to 2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tablespoons of brandy. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap in foil. Feed the cake with 1 to 2 tablespoons brandy every fortnight, until you are ready to cover it with icing.
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