• 1 kg (2 lb) luxury mixed dried fruit
  • 4 tablespoons whisky
  • 50 g (2 oz) ready-chopped glacé ginger
  • grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 300 g (10 oz) plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 250 g (8 oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 250 g (8 oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 50 g (2 oz) pecan nuts, roughly chopped
  • 11 glace cherry halves
  • 11 pecan nuts

Put the dried fruit in a bowl with the whisky, glacé ginger, lemon rind and juice. Mix together, cover and leave to soak overnight.

Mix the flour with the spices. Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until pale and creamy.

Mix in alternate spoonfuls of beaten egg and flour until all has been added and the mixture is smooth. Gradually mix in the soaked fruit and chopped nuts until evenly combined.

Spoon the mixture into a 20 cm (8 inch) deep round cake tin, base and sides lined with nonstick baking paper, and spread the surface level. Arrange the cherry halves and pecans around the top edge. Bake in the centre of a preheated oven, 140°C (275°F), Gas Mark 1, for 3½–3¾ hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes then loosen the edges, turn out on to a wire rack and peel off the lining paper. Leave to cool completely. Decorate the cake with a strip of waxed paper tied round the cake with raffia, if liked. Store in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks.

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