Rich Fruit Cake

Makes one large cake to serve 30

425g

Currants


250g

Sultanas


250g

Raisins


300g

Glace cherries, quartered, rinsed and drained


150g

Dried apricots, roughly chopped into small pieces


75g

Candied peel


4 tbsp, plus extra for pouring

Brandy


300g

Gilchesters Organic Pizza & Ciabatta flour


1 tsp

Mixed spice


1/2 tsp

Freshly grated nutmeg


300g

Softened, unsalted butter


300g

Dark muscovado sugar


5

Medium free range eggs


1 tbsp

Black treacle


1 lemon

Zest of


1 orange

Zest of


60g

Whole unblanched almonds, roughly chopped


Method

Combine the dried fruit and candied peel in a large bowl. Add the 4 tbsp brandy and stir in to mix well. Cover and leave overnight.

Preheat the oven to 140°C/fan120°C/gas 1. Put the remaining ingredients except the almonds in a large bowl. Beat with a hand-held electric mixer until well combined. Stir in the nuts and the soaked fruit with any soaking liquid.

Grease a deep 23cm round tin or 20cm square cake tin with butter, line with a double layer of baking paper and grease the paper. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Level the top and cover with a disc of baking paper.

Bake for 4-5 hours until firm to the touch and a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.

When the cake has cooled, remove the baking paper disc, pierce the top in several places with a skewer, then pour over a little brandy. Remove the cake from the tin but keep it in the baking paper. Wrap with more baking paper, then wrap with foil. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months to mature, occasionally unwrapping and spooning over 1-2 tbsp brandy.

Decorate the cake with glacé fruit, marzipan or ready-to-use icing. Tie a ribbon around the cake if you like before serving.

This recipe has been adapted from Mary Berry’s original.

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