One uncooked fruit cake mixture
725 g (1 1/2 lb) mixed glace fruit, roughly chopped (try a mixture of apricots, pineapple, ginger and cherries)
3 teaspoons gelatine decorative ribbon
1 - Preheat the oven to slow 150°C (300°F/Gas 2). Line the base and side of a 18 x 25 cm (7 x 10 inch) deep oval cake tin with 2 layers of brown paper and 2 layers of non¬stick baking paper. Wrap 3 layers of newspaper around the outside of the tin, securing with string.
2 - Spoon the cake mix into the tin and smooth the surface, using your hand dipped in water. Tap the tin on the bench several times to remove any air pockets from the mixture. Place in the oven on top of several layers of newspaper and bake for 3 hours, then arrange the glace fruit over the top. Bake for a further 30 minutes, then cover loosely with greased foil or baking paper to prevent the fruit burning, and bake for another hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
3 - Put 2 tablespoons boiling water in a bowl and sprinkle with the gelatine. Leave for 1 minute until spongy, then stir briskly with a fork to dissolve. Brush the gelatine over the hot cake, cover the top with baking paper and wrap in a tea towel. Cool completely in the tin, then turn out and tie with a ribbon.
Ahead of time: This cake is perfect for making in advance—it can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year.
Dip your hand in water and use to smooth the top of the cake mixture.
Bake the cake for 3 hours, then arrange the glace fruit on top.
Dissolve the gelatine in boiling water and brush over the glace fruit.
Variation: This recipe can also be made as small, individual cakes. Lightly grease twelve 1 cup (250 ml/ 8 fl oz) muffin holes with melted butter or oil and put a round of baking paper in the bottom of each hole. Spoon in the cake mixture and smooth the surface, top with the glace fruit and bake for IV4 hours, or until a skewer comes out clean. Then proceed as for the large cake.