What you need:

225 g (8 oz) margarine
340 g (12 oz) plain flour, sifted
225 g (8 oz) caster sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
110 g (4 oz) glace cherries, halved
110 g (4 oz) mixed peel, finely chopped
225 g (8 oz) raisins
225 g (8 oz) currants
225 g (8 oz) sultanas
110 g (4 oz) blanched almonds, finely chopped
4 eggs, beaten
full fat milk, as needed

3 tbsp  brandy, plus extra for ‘feeding’

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 220 C /  425 F  /Gas mark  7.
Line and grease a 25 cm (10 in) cake  tin.
Rub the margarine into the flour then add the sugar, spice, fruit and almonds. Pour the eggs into the mixture and add a little milk. Beat well so that the cake mixture should just be able to drop off a spoon, adding a little more milk if necessary. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, then reduce the heat to 120 C / 220 F /Gas 1/2 for a further 2 hours until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool on a rack before decorating.

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