Rockin’ around the Christmas cake


1kg dried fruit
100ml brandy to soak the fruit
250g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1tsp mixed spice
250g dark brown soft sugar
250g unsalted butter
5 eggs
100g golden syrup
100g chopped mixed nuts
6 clementines zested
Brandy to feed the cake over a period of three weeks
Marzipan and fondant icing to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 130 degrees.
  1. Soak the fruit in the brandy for 12 hours.
  1. Sift the flour, salt, nutmeg and mixed spice.
  1. Add the eggs, sugar, golden syrup and the softened butter, then beat together with a mixer until smooth and fluffy.
  1. Add the nuts, soaked fruit and clementine zest.
  1. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper and then add the mix. Wrap brown paper around the outside and tie a string around the tin to ensure the cake doesn’t overcook in the oven.
  1. Place the cake tin in the preheated oven at the bottom and bake for four hours. Check to see if it’s cooked in the centre by pricking with a cocktail stick. If the stick comes out wet, cook for a further 10 minutes at a time until it comes out clean.
  1. Take the cooked cake out of the oven and leave it to cool for at least 20 minutes in the tin. Then place the cake on a wire rack.
  1. Prick the cake with a cocktail stick all over the top to feed the cake with brandy. Wrap it up in tin foil and store in a tin.
  1. Feed the cake with brandy over a period of three weeks.
  1. Finally decorate with marzipan and fondant icing. To make sure the marzipan sticks, brush the cake with warm marmalade. Then brush the marzipan with water to allow the fondant to stick.
  1. If you have left over marzipan and fondant, make simple decorations such as snowmen and holly to add a special Christmas touch.