PREP AND COOK TIME 5-6 HOURS (+ COOLING TIME)
- 2 ⅓ cups (375g) sultanas
- 2 ⅓ cups (375g) chopped raisins
- ¾ cup (125g) dried currants
- ½ cup (100g) red glacé cherries, quartered
- 1 cup (250g) firmly packed mixed glacé fruit (such as oranges, pineapple, peaches, apricots)
- ⅓ cup (120g) ginger marmalade
- ½ cup (125ml) brandy
- ½ cup (125ml) orange juice
- 250g butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
- I cup (220g) brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup (150g) plain flour
- ½ cup (75g) self-raising flour
- ¾ cup (90g) almond meal (ground almonds)
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (80ml) brandy, extra for brushing
- 3 egg whites
- 4 ¼ cups (680g) icing sugar, sifted
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons glycerine
- Combine the fruit, marmalade, brandy and juice in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after each I minute. Remove plastic wrap and cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 140C (120C fan-forced). Line the base and side of a deep 22 cm round cake pan with two layers of brown paper and two layers of baking paper, extending papers 5 cm above sides of the pan,
- Beat the butter, rind and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined, Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in the sifted flours, almond meal and spices. Stir into the fruit mixture. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan: smooth top.
- Bake the cake for about 3 ½ hours, or until a thin-bladed knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cover with foil if over-browning occurs during cooking. Brush hot cake with extra brandy. Cover the top with a piece of baking paper; snip and fold down lining paper; cover cake tightly with foil. Wrap in a towel, cool in the pan overnight. Remove from pan.
- ICING: Whisk egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until just frothy. On low speed, add the icing sugar, 1 tbsp at a time. Add the lemon juice and glycerine, and beat for about 5 mins, or until very stiff and thick. Cover the surface of the icing with plastic wrap and store in a cool place until ready to ice.
- Spread the cake with icing and decorate with your choice of Christmas decorations.
From the Australian Women’s Weekly, November 2015.