- 175g (6oz) currants
- 75g (3oz) each sultanas and raisins
- 50g (2oz) dried apricots, chopped
- 50g (2oz) dried figs, chopped
- 25g (1oz) candied peel
- 3tbsp whisky, plus extra to feed the cake
- 100g (4oz) plain flour
- ¼tsp ground cinnamon
- ½tsp mixed spice
- ¼tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 100g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 100g (4oz) soft dark brown sugar
- 2 free-range eggs, beaten
- 40g (1½oz) Brazil nuts, toasted and chopped
- 2tsp black treacle
- grated zest of ½ lemon and ½ orange
- you will need
- 20cm (8in) round cake tin, double lined with baking parchment (to keep it moist)
Place all the dried fruits and candied peel in a bowl, pour over the whisky, mix well, cover and leave to soak overnight.
The following day heat the oven to 140 C, 120 C fan, 275 F, gas 1. Sift the flour, a pinch of salt and the spices into a bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until fluffly and pale in colour. Gradually add the eggs, beating well until incorporated. Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled – it’ll be fine once you add the flour.
Gently fold in the flour and spices, being careful not to knock out too much air. Fold in the whisky-soaked fruits, the nuts, treacle, and zest, then spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Make a small indentation in the centre with the back of a teaspoon so that the centre doesn’t rise. You want a nice even top.
Place a band of brown paper around the outside of the tin and cut another double thickness of baking parchment to cover the top of the cake, so it doesn’t brown too much. Make a hole in the centre of the paper the size of a £1 coin.
Place the cake on the lower shelf of the oven. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin (can take up to 4 hours) before wrapping well in double greaseproof paper and storing in an airtight tin. To ‘feed’ the cake with whisky, make a few holes in the top with a skewer and pour over 2tsp whisky. Repeat every few days for a couple of weeks.