By : Harts Barn Cookery School | Difficulty : Intermediate
• 1kg dried fruit – mixture of raisins, sultanas, currents, cherries, cranberries and maybe some figs, dates or prunes
• zest & juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
• 150ml sherry
• 250g softened butter
• 200g light brown sugar
• 175g plain flour
• 100g ground almonds
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 2 tsp mixed spice
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp cloves
• 100g flaked almonds
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Place the dried fruit, zest, juice, sherry, butter and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat until sugar and butter have melted. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 mins.
• Tip into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool.
• Preheat the oven to 150˚C or 130˚C fan oven.
• Line a 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.
• When cooled add all the other ingredients, stir well and then tip into the cake tin levelling the top with a spatula.
• Bake in the oven for 2hrs.
• Check the cake is cooked using a skewer into the middle of the cake. If cooked take out of the oven. Poke holes with the skewer over the surface of the cake and then lace with sherry.
• Leave the cake in the tin to cool.
• When cooled remove from the tin, peel off the parchment paper and wrap in cling film to store.
• Place in an airtight cake tin.
• Feed the cake with 1 tbsp of sherry every fortnight until the final week before Christmas.
• Your cake will then be ready to ice and decorate.
NOTES: Cuts into 15 pieces.