This family favourite recipe was clipped from a magazine many years ago – and continues to get made every single year. If you prefer yours a little boozier, be sure to top it up with extra brandy for a few weeks before Christmas!
Step 1: Grease and double-line a 20cm square cake pan with greaseproof paper. Secure a double piece of brown paper around outside of pan. Set aside.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and castor sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla essence.
Step 3: In a separate bowl, sift flour, beat into mixture. Stir in fruit, nuts, 50ml brandy and salt.
Step 4: Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan. Bake at 120ºC, four hours or until cooked. Remove from oven, pour remaining brandy over. Remove cake from pan when cool. OPTIONAL TIP: We use a piece of corrugated cardboard wrapped around the outer of the tin to ensure even heat, and start monitoring the cake after the 3rd hour, dependent on your oven 4 hours might not be needed. When it has a lovely golden hue, test by inserting a skewer.
To store: Wrap cake in greaseproof paper, then in foil to cover completely. May be kept up to three months before icing.
ADDTIONAL TIPS: Bake Cake in November and start preparation by soaking the dates, mixed dried fruit and cherries in brandy 2 weeks before baking cake. Once your cake has been removed from tin, wrap in wax wrap and foil and store, turning every second day. Ice Cake ahead of eating.