1.Chop raisins, dates and prunes the same size as the sultanas; combine in large bowl with sultanas, cherries and peel.
2.Place caster sugar in large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat; turn pan occasionally until sugar is melted. Add butter and whisky; stir over low heat until mixture is smooth.
3.Add extra butter, brown sugar and fruit to pan, stir over heat until butter melts; bring to the boil. Remove from heat; stir in soda. Transfer mixture to large bowl, cover; stand overnight at room temperature.
4.Preheat oven to 150°C (130°C fan-forced). Grease deep 19cm-square cake pan; line base and sides with two layers of brown paper then baking paper, extending paper 5cm over sides.
5.Add nuts, sifted flour and spice, then eggs to fruit mixture; stir until well combined (the most efficient way to mix a fruit cake is by using your hand. Use the other “clean” hand to hold the bowl steady). Spoon mixture into corners of pan then spread remaining mixture into pan. Tap pan on bench to settle mixture and break any large air bubbles; level surface of cake with wet spatula. Bake about 3 hours.
6.Brush hot cake with extra whisky. Cover hot cake tightly with foil; cool in pan.
This recipe is an updated version of an old favourite cake dating back to the 1960s. Store in the fridge, well-sealed, then cut while it’s cold: it soon comes to room temperature.Note