Events and Celebrations

  • 250 g (8 oz) dried fruit
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) sherry
  • 250 g (8 oz) butter
  • 225 g (7½ oz) molasses sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 g (7 oz) self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 50 g (2 oz) cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons mixed spice
  • 4 pieces stem ginger, chopped
  • 100 g (3½ oz) white chocolate, chopped
  • 150 g (5 oz) butter
  • 150 g (5 oz) golden icing sugar
  • 150 g (5 oz) cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 125 g (4 oz) dried cranberries

Seal the dried fruit and sherry in a sterilized jar (see page 11) and leave to macerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, then sift in the flour, cocoa, mixed spice and ginger.

Whiz half the macerated fruit in a processor until smooth. Add to the cake mixture with the rest of the fruit and alcoholic liquid. Add the white chocolate and fold everything together.

Grease and line a 15 cm (6 inch) cake tin. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 1½ hours. The cake is ready when a skewer pushed in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin. Put on to a plate or board and peel away the lining paper.

Blend the butter, sugar, cream cheese and brandy together in a food processor until smooth and spread on top of the cake. Finish by decorating with dried cranberries and tying a large ribbon around the sides.

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