No Christmas would be complete without a deliciously plump fruit cake. When it comes to festive baking you really can’t go past a deliciously plump fruit cake. There are so many variations of the fruit cake, with the only real stapels being that it must be cake and filled with loads of dried fruit mix.
1.In a large ceramic bowl, combine fruit and brandy. Mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight to soak.
2.Preheat oven to 120°C. Line base and sides of a 23cm square cake pan with two layers of brown paper and baking paper, allowing it to extend 2.5cm above edge.
3.In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in marmalade and vanilla. Transfer to a very large bowl.
4.Fold half soaked fruit and half flour into creamed mixture (use a clean hand if you like). Fold in remaining fruit and flour. Pour carefully into pan (make sure to pack into corners), smoothing top.
5.Bake 2½-3 hours, until cooked when tested with a skewer. Brush over extra brandy. Cool completely in pan, covered with a layer of foil and a clean tea towel. When cold, wrap in plastic wrap and foil and keep in an airtight container in a cool place.
If cake is cooked, a skewer inserted in the centre will come out clean and dry. We decorated our cake with ribbon and fondant icing stars. To make stars, tint fondant icing with food colouring and roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper. Cut out shapes using pastry cutters and allow to dry until firm.