Peter loves fruit cakes. My mother started making him this cake for Christmas. Now I do. It's hard to get all the ingredients in the U.S. so I have to improvise. This is the original recipe (Jane).
1. Combine fruit and nuts in large basin with sherry or brandy and leave overnight or longer. (TIP: I used some oldish dried fruit that I actually soaked in brandy for about a week and added more brandy as the fruit soaked it up!)
2. Prepare 20 cm cake tin well. Grease with butter, and then add in some flour to cover base and sides and shake out excess. Use parchment paper to line tin. Trace the outside of the tin on the parchment paper, cut out circle and place in the bottom of the tin.
3. Make rectangular strips to put around the sides of the tin - paper will extend an inch of so over the top of the tin.
4. Beat butter until soft, add sugars and beat well. Add eggs one at a time and while beating add golden syrup. Added sifted flours and spices, alternating with fruit mixture until combined.
5. Spoon mixture into prepared cake tin. Smooth over top. Decorate top of cake with nuts if desired.
6. Bake in center of oven pre-heated to 300 degrees F and cook for approximately 3 1/2 hours.
6. Allow to cook in tin. Remove from tin and spoon 2 - 3 tablespoons of brandy over cake - can even turn cake upside down and spoon over the bottom of the cake as well.
7. Wrap cake in aluminum foil to keep until Christmas! Cake will keep for months. Consider adding more brandy or sherry every week or so until eaten.
Our good friend Cica Hansen also makes her version of this cake every year. She's a little more energetic than we have been so far - adding a marzipan layer and royal icing (like an Aussie wedding cake but every year).