Makes: 1 x 20cm (8 inch) round or 18cm (7 inch) square cake
Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus soaking and maturing
Cooking time: 3½ hours
Tools: k beater
- Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) round cake tin. Tie a thick double band of brown paper around the outside of the tin. Stand the tin on a baking sheet, lined with a double thickness of brown paper.
- Wash the glacé cherries to remove all the syrup, drain and pat dry with paper towel. Cut into quarters. Place in a large bowl with the currants, raisins, sultanas and candied peel. Pour over the brandy, toss together and leave to stand for 3-4 hours, or overnight, if time allows.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2. Place the butter and sugar in the Kenwood Bowl and using the K-beater starting at speed 2, mix together until light and fluffy.
- With the K-beater still turning, gradually add the beaten eggs, a little at a time and continue beating until smooth.
- Sift the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg together. On minimum speed gradually add half the flour mixture. Stop mixing, add half the fruit and almonds. Mix on minimum until incorporated.
- Add the remaining flour and fruit mixtures. Mix in sufficient barley wine, milk or orangge juice to give a soft dropping consistency. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface with the back of a metal spoon. Make a slight depression in the centre. This will help to encourage a flat cake, when baked.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hours. Reduce the oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas 1 for 1½ hours, or until cooked. Cover the top with greaseproof paper if it starts to over-brown.
- Test the cake to see if it is cooked by inserting a fine skewer into the centre; it should come out clean. The cake should also feel firm to the touch.
- Leave to cool in the tin until warm, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. When completely cold, wrap in greaseproof paper, then in a double layer of aluminium foil. Leave in a cool dry place for 2 weeks to mature, or up to 2 months before applying almond paste and icing.
Cook’s Note The 25cm (10 inch) round cake can only be made with the Kenwood Major. For the 30cm (12 inch) round cake and the 25cm (10 inch) round cake, if you have a Kenwood Chef, use the mixer up to the end of step 4, then transfer the mix to a larger container, such as a clean washing-up bowl and mix the flour, fruit and nuts in by hand. Alternatively make the cake in 2 batches, using the machine and combine them by hand before transferring to the prepared tin.
For: 15cm (6 inch) round or 12cm (5 inch) square cake
150°C/300°F/Gas 2 for 1½ hours then 140°C/275°F/ Gas 1 for 1-1½ hours
For: 18cm (7 inch) round or 15cm (6 inch) square cake
150°C/300°F/Gas 2 for 2 hours then 140°C/275°F/ Gas 1 for 1-1½ hours
For: 25cm (10 inch) round or 23cm (9 inch) square cake
150°C/300°F/Gas 2 for 2½ hours then 140°C/275°F/ Gas 1 for 1½ hours
For: 30cm (12 inch) round or 28cm (11 inch) square cake
150°C/300°F/Gas 2 for 4 hours then 140°C/275°F/ Gas 1 for 2-2½ hours