350g glacé cherries, halved, rinsed, and thoroughly dried
150ml brandy or sherry, plus extra for feeding
2 oranges, zest only
250g butter, softened
250g light or dark muscovado sugar
4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp black treacle
75g blanched almonds, chopped
275g plain flour
10g mixed spice
Place all the dried fruit into a bowl, pour over the brandy and stir in the orange zest.leave to soak for three days, stirring daily.
Grease and line a 23cm deep, round tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 140C Fan.
Add the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds into a very large bowl and beat well. Add the flour and ground spice and mix thoroughly until blended. Stir in the soaked fruit. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.
Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for about 4-4½ hours, or until the cake feels firm to the touch and is a rich golden brown (internal temperature 95oC). Check after two hours, and if the cake is a perfect colour, cover with foil.
When cool, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little extra brandy. Wrap the completely cold cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper and foil.