3 cups sultanas (450g)
1 cup currants (150g)
1 cup raisins (180g)
1 cup chopped, pitted dates (120g)
100 g glace cherries, finely chopped
⅔ cup dark rum
250 g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tbsp finely grated orange rind
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup slivered almonds
¼ cup plum jam
2 cups plain flour
3 tsp mixed spice
300 g white fondant icing
¼ cup apricot jam, melted, strained
200 g green fondant
edible silver balls, to decorate
- Combine fruit and 1⁄2 cup of the rum in an extra large bowl. Stand, covered, overnight.
- Grease a 20cm square x 7cm deep cake pan. Line base and sides with three layers of brown paper, then three layers of baking paper, both extending 5cm above pan edges.
- Beat butter, sugar and rind in a small bowl of an electric mixer until uffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Stir into fruit mixture with almonds and jam.
- Sift over combined flour and spice. Mix well. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth over top. Wrap three layers of newspaper around outside of pan. Secure with string.
- Cook in a slow oven (150C), covering top loosely with foil halfway through cooking, for 3 hours, 30 minutes, or until cooked when tested. Remove. Brush top with remaining rum. Wrap cake in pan in a clean tea towel. Set aside until completely cool.
- To decorate, knead white fondant on a clean surface until smooth. Roll out between two sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Using cake pan as a guide, cut out a 20cm square. Invert cake. Brush base with jam. Place fondant on top.
- Knead green fondant as above. Roll out between baking paper until 4mm thick. Using a 5cm veined rose leaf plunger cutter, cut out 19 shapes. Cut out a 2cm x 4cm rectangle for tree trunk. Arrange trunk and leaves on cake, as pictured. Decorate with cachous.