2 cups chopped pitted dried dates
2 cups sultanas
1 cup currants
100 g packet red glace cherries, finely chopped
250 g unsalted butter, chopped
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¾ cup sweet sherry
¼ cup water
5 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp breakfast marmalade
1½ cups plain flour, sifted
½ cup self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Gold leaf, to decorate
2 egg whites
3½ cups pure icing sugar, sifted
- Grease a 22cm x 7cm-deep round cake pan. Line with two layers of brown paper, one layer of baking paper, leaving a 3cm overhang.
- Combine fruit, butter, sugar, sherry and water in a large saucepan. Stir without boiling until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil, then cover and reduce heat slightly. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Pour into a heatproof bowl. Cool to room temperature.
- Stir eggs and marmalade into fruit mixture. Add flours, spice and bicarb. Mix well. Spoon into pan. Smooth top.
- Cook in a slow oven (150C) for 2½ hours, or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Cover with foil if top starts to brown. Wrap hot cake and pan in foil. Cool in pan.
- Spread top with icing. Decorate with gold leaf.
- For icing, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy. Beat in icing sugar, ½ cup at a time, until combined. Beat for 2 minutes until smooth.