350g mixed fruit (sultanas, currants, mixed peel, cherries)
3 large eggs
225g ground almonds
110g caster sugar
110g icing sugar
2 large eggs
0.50tsp almond essence
juice of ½ lemon
To Make Almond Paste:
Sieve the ground almonds and icing sugar together. Add the caster sugar and mix well.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, lemon juice and almond essence together with a fork and add two thirds of this liquid to the dry ingredients and bind them together. Do not add all of the liquid at the start as you may or may not need it all depending upon the size of your eggs. Add the remaining liquid only if it is needed to bind the mixture together. The almond paste should look like a ball of pastry after it has been kneaded together.
Divide the paste into three, wrap each in cling film and store in the fridge until required.
(if you have made the almond paste the day before it is best to take it out of the fridge approximately 30 minutes before you need it as t does have a tendency to become quite firm in the fridge and roll it out can be difficult.)
To Make the Cake:
Line a 8 inch deep cake tin with baking parchment. Sieve the ground almonds, self raising flour, mixed spice and nutmeg together.
Cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs and sieved dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
Carefully mix n the dried fruits and mix well to ensure that the fruit has become fully integrated with the cake mix.
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2).
Put half of the cake mixture into the tin and spread out so that it is nice and flat.
Roll out 1/3 of the almond paste into an 8 inch disc and place it on top of the cake mix.
Pour the remaining cake mix on top of the almond paste and spread it out evenly.
Bake the cake for between 1 ½ hours-2 hours depending on the oven.
A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
Check the cake after about an hour to access the stages of progression and adjust the temperature if the cake is too browned or alternatively loosely cover the cake with tin foil. Allow the cake to cool completely.
Once the cake is cooled brush the top surface of the cake with boiled apricot jam.
Roll out another 1/3 of the cake into a disc and neatly arrange this on top of the cake.
Divide the remaining almond paste into 11 pieces and roll them into balls and secure around the top of the cake with a little apricot jam.
Brush the entire surface of the cake (i.e.-the exposed almond paste) with beaten egg and return to the oven for approx 8-12 minutes until the almond paste is golden brown.
Alternatively you could use a grill or a chef’s blowtorch to obtain this particular finish.