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Prep

1 HR

Bake

2.5 hrs

Serves

8 to 10

Difficulty

Medium

About

This traditional Easter fruit cake is topped with home-made almond paste – with 11 balls to represent the faithful disciples, so make sure you count correctly!

made using

Light Muscovado

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Instructions
Ingredients
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Watch video instructions or scroll for step-by-step

Step 1

Put the dried fruit and glace cherries into a large mixing bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover, then soak for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly through a colander. Tip the fruit back into the bowl and stir in the dark rum or brandy. Cover and leave in a cool place for up to 2 days, though at least overnight.

Step 2

Position an oven shelf in the centre of the oven, with space for the cake. Preheat the oven to 150°C, Fan oven 130°C, Gas Mark 2. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.

Step 3

In a very large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, using a hand-held electric mixer or wooden spoon. Gradually add the beaten eggs, beating well between each addition.

Step 4

Sift the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into the mixing bowl. Use a large metal spoon to fold the ingredients together – ditch the wooden spoon and avoid beating the mixture at this stage – you need to treat it gently!

Step 5

Add the ground almonds with the grated zest and juice from the lemon and orange. Remember to take care when you grate the zest from citrus fruit – you just want the coloured part. If you grate into the white pith you will be adding bitterness, rather than flavour.

Step 6

Give the soaked dried fruit a stir, then tip it into the cake mixture, along with any residual liquid. Stir it in thoroughly.

Step 7

Tip the mixture into the cake tin and level the top. Bake for 2 hours. Test that the cake is cooked by inserting a fine skewer into the centre – it should come out clean. Stand the cake on a wire rack and leave it to cool in the tin. When cold, remove from the tin and wrap in baking paper. Store in an airtight tin, or decorate immediately.

Step 8

For the almond paste, mix the almonds and icing sugar together. Add the egg white and lemon juice, mix to a stiff paste, and knead until smooth. Roll out half this almond paste on a surface dusted with icing sugar and trim to a 20cm circle. Brush the surface of the cake with warm apricot jam and position the almond paste on top. Score a criss-cross pattern over the surface with a skewer.

Step 9

Roll the remaining paste into 11 equal-sized balls and position them around the cake. Grill lightly, or use a cook’s blowtorch to lightly brown the surface. Tie ribbon around the cake, to decorate, then serve.

TOP TIP

Don't worry if you don't have a blow torch in your kitchen; you can just pop it under the grill for a little bit instead to give the cake a warming glow!

Ingredients – 14 items

Serving

1

For the cake

Dried fruit

Dried fruit

Mixed

1 kg

Glace cherry

Halved

200 g

Rum

100 ml
Butter

Butter

Plus a little extra for greasing

150 g
Fairtrade Light Muscovado

Fairtrade Tate & Lyle Light Muscovado Sugar

150 g
Eggs

Large eggs

4
Flour

Plain flour

200 g
Salt-table

Salt

1/4 tsp
Mixed-spice

Ground mixed spice

2 tsp

Ground almonds

75 g
Lemon-zest

Zest of one lemon

1
Lemon-juice

Juice of one lemon

1
Orange

Medium orange, juiced & zested

1

For the decoration

Ground almonds

250 g
Fairtrade Cane Icing Sugar

Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Icing Sugar

250 g
Eggs

Large eggs

Separated

1
Lemon-juice

Lemon juice

1 tsp

Apricot jam

Warmed in a pan or microwave for a few seconds

2 tbsp

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250g unsalted butter
1tsp Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Splash of milk (if needed)

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100 ml Pimms

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