• 625 g (1¼ lb) mixed dried fruit
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) brandy
  • 500 g (1 lb) butter
  • 500 g (1 lb) muscovado sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 500g (1 lb) self-raising flour
  • 50g (2 oz) cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground mixed spice
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 200 g (7 oz) pecan nuts
  • 200 g (7 oz) milk chocolate
  • 200 g (7 oz) white chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons ready-made apricot glaze (or use warmed, sieved apricot jam)
  • 1k g (2 lb) white marzipan
  • cabbage roses or white roses
  • golden icing sugar

Warm the dried fruit gently in a pan with two-thirds of the brandy.

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually whisk in the eggs. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, mixed spiced and ginger. Stir in the nuts, milk and white chocolate, soaked fruit and liquid. Mix to combine.

Grease and line a 23 cm (9 inch) round cake tin and a 15 cm (6 inch) round cake tin. Turn the mixture into the tins and bake in a preheated oven, 150°C (300°F), Gas Mark 2, for 1¾ hours for the small cake and 2 hours for the large one. Cool the cakes in the tins.

Warm the apricot glaze with the rest of the brandy. Slice the top off the large cake to level it. Place on a plate and brush all over with the apricot glaze.

Roll out two-thirds of the marzipan, on a surface dusted with icing sugar, to a 33 cm (13 inch) circle. Use to cover the large cake and trim off the excess. Top with the smaller cake and brush it with the apricot glaze. Roll the rest of the marzipan to a 25 cm (10 inch) circle and use it to cover the small cake.

Tie a wide ribbon around both cakes and decorate with roses. Dust with icing sugar to finish.

Like This? Try These
More on Food