1 kilo dried fruit (to include plenty of cherries, cranberries, chopped apricots, mixed peel etc to make it a luxury fruit mix)
275g plain flour
250g butter, softened
250g soft dark brown sugar
1 tbsp black treacle
60g ground almonds
4 large Fairburn’s British Blue eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract, optional
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
4 tbsp medium sherry
½ lemon zest and a dash of the juice
½ orange grated
1. Line a deep 20cm square tin with a double layer of baking parchment then grease with butter.
2. Preheat the oven to 140C/275G/Gas 1.
3. Combine the dried fruit and candied peel in a large bowl. Add the 4 tbsp sherry and stir in to mix well. Cover and leave overnight.
4. Put the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with a hand-held electric mixer until well combined. Stir in the soaked fruit with any soaking liquid.
5. 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.
To make Mini Christmas Cakes
1. Cut out small disks of cake using a cutter then top the mini cakes with a disc of marzipan, then top with royal icing, so the icing drips down the cakes. Top with a whole pecan nut sprayed with edible gold or dried orange peel or cranberries.
2. Place on a plate or a piece of slate and dust with more edible gold.
Recipe courtesy of Rachel Green for Fairburn's Eggs