For the cake
- 125g glacé cherries, halved
- 100g dried apricots, chopped
- 200g currants
- 200g sultanas
- 200g raisins
- 75g candied peel, chopped
- 100g dried cranberries
- 150ml sherry, brandy, rum or brewed tea
- Zest and juice of 4 clementines
- 250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 250g light soft brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 200g plain flour
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 50g flaked almonds
- 50g chopped hazelnuts
- Place the dried fruit, alcohol or tea, zest and juice into a large bowl. Mix well, cover and leave overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas 3. Grease and double-line a 20cm deep round cake tin with enough baking parchment to extend about 3cm over the top of the tin.
- Wrap the outside of the tin with a few sheets of parchment paper and secure with string.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Add the flour and mixed spice, soaked fruit and any liquid and the nuts. Mix together then transfer the mix to the cake tin.
- Using a spoon, make a slight dent in the middle of the surface then bake for 90 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 140°C/Gas 1.
- Loosely cover the top of the tin with foil or baking parchment and bake for another 45─60 minutes until a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin then remove and wrap in baking parchment.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. Every couple of weeks, feed your cake with a syringe, or by piercing with a skewer and sprinkling over a little more alcohol or tea.
- To cover, warm a little sieved apricot jam and brush it over the cake before topping with Ready to Roll Marzipan and then Ready to Roll White Icing.
- To decorate, knead the ready-to-roll icings until soft and then push them into the moulds – brown for the pine cones, green for the holly leaves, a well-blended mixture of green and white for the mistletoe leaves, red for the holly berries and ivory for the mistletoe berries – then flex the moulds to release.
- Using our finished cake as a guide, mould as many leaves, cones and berries as you wish to create your wreath. Once all your decorations are turned out, brush a little gold lustre over the pine cones, if desired.
- Build up a wreath of leaves, cones and berries on top of your cake, attaching each with a dab of edible glue.