It wouldn't be Christmas without a fruitcake.
• 1kg mixed dried fruit
• ½ cup brandy
• 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
• 1 tblsp finely grated orange rind
• 4 free-range eggs
• 2 tblsps ginger marmalade
• 2 cups plain flour
• 2 tsps mixed spice
• 1 cup brazil nuts
• ¾ cup whole pecans
• 100g packet multicoloured glacé cherries
Combine dried fruit and brandy in a large bowl. Stand, covered, overnight.
Next day, line base and side of a 22cm round cake pan with three layers of baking paper, extending 5cm above rim of pan.
To make topping, scatter nuts and cherries over base of the prepared pan.
Beat butter, sugar and rind in small bowl with an electric mixer until just combined.
Beat in eggs one at a time until just combined. Don’t over-beat. Stir butter mixture and marmalade into fruit.
Sift combined flour and spice over the top. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix until thoroughly combined. Spoon over topping in prepared pan.
Cook in a slow oven (150°C) for 2½–3 hours, or until cooked when tested. Cover loosely with foil halfway through cooking if cake starts to over-brown. Remove from oven. Place a piece of foil on surface. Wrap pan in a tea towel. Turn upside down to cool overnight.
To serve, remove cake from pan. Cut cake in slices.