Celebration fruit cake

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If you're after a rich and indulgent fruit cake for a wedding, anniversary, birthday or other special occasion – this is it!

  • 500 g Mixed Dried Fruit, (sultanas, raisins and currants)
  • 100 g Glacé Cherries, halved
  • 100 ml Brandy, or rum
  • 255 g Plain White Flour
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons, level Baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons, level Mixed Spice, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoons, level Ground Ginger
  • 150 g Butter, or margarine
  • 150 g Muscovado Sugar, dark
  • 4 large, raw Egg, whole, raw, beaten
  • 1 tablespoons, level Treacle
  • 1 medium Orange(s), Finely grated zest and juice of To decorate:
  • 600 g Marzipan, golden
  • 1 teaspoons, heaped Icing Sugar, for dusting
  • 3 teaspoons, heaped Jam, apricot, warmed
  • 650 g Ready to Roll Icing, Fresh flowers and ribbon to decorate

Put the dried fruit and cherries into a large bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover, and leave for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Add the brandy or rum, stir well, then cover and leave to soak for 1-2 days, stirring occasionally.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3/160°C/fan oven 140°C. Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin with double-thickness baking paper.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, mixed spice and ginger. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter or margarine and sugar until light in texture and paler in colour. Use a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric mixer to do this. Gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition. Stir in the treacle and orange zest. Tip in the flour mixture and fold it through using a large metal spoon. Finally add the dried fruit and orange juice and stir together thoroughly.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hours 15 minutes, or until a fine skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

To decorate, knead the marzipan briefly, then roll out on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar into a circle measuring approximately 34cm in diameter. Brush the surface of the cake with warm apricot jam, then lift the marzipan on top and smooth over the top and sides of the cake, trimming to fit. Leave for at least 24 hours before icing.

To ice the cake, knead the ready-to-roll icing together briefly, then roll out on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar into a circle measuring approximately 36cm in diameter. Brush a little water over the marzipan, then lift the icing onto the cake and smooth over the top and sides. Decorate with fresh flowers and ribbon.

Serve bitesize slices; due to it's richness, that'll be enough to hit the spot!

Start eating better than ever!