- 800 g luxury mixed fruit
- 5 tbsp brandy
- 2 balls stem ginger, finely chopped
- 50 g blanched almonds, chopped
- zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
- 175 g plain flour
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 225 g dark muscovado sugar
- 225 g unsalted butter
- 4 medium eggs, beaten
- 50 g ground almonds
- 3 tbsp apricot glaze, warmed
- icing sugar, for dusting
- 750 g ready to roll icing
- red sugar balls, and holly & ivy cake decoration
- 454 g pack golden marzipan
Preheat the oven to 160°C, fan 140°C, gas 3. Grease an 18cm square cake tin and line with baking parchment. Tie a folded piece of baking parchment around the outside of the tin to protect against the heat.
Place the mixed fruit and brandy in a large pan and heat gently for 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool (the fruit will soak up the brandy). Add the ginger, chopped almonds and orange and lemon zest.
Sift the flour, spices and ½ teaspoon salt into another bowl. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar and butter until fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs until combined. Fold in the flour and spice mixture and the ground almonds, then fold in the soaked fruit and nut mixture.
Spoon into the prepared tin and level. Bake for 2 ½ – 3 hours, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cover with foil if it’s getting too dark. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Brush the cake with the glaze. On a little icing sugar, roll out the marzipan to ½ cm thick. Lay over the cake, trim, then brush with boiled, cooled water. Roll out the icing to 1cm thick, then lay over the cake and trim.
Cut 3 stars from the icing trimmings with a large cookie cutter. Remove the centres with a smaller star cutter and set aside. Stick the outlines on the cake with warm water. Brush inside them with a little water and fill with sugar balls. Stick on smaller stars with warm water and add the cake decoration.