big fruit cakerating:
you can make this cake with any old mix of dried fruits - it seems utterly bombproof. I do like Nigel Slater's recipes :)
350g butter, room temperature
350g soft brown sugar
1kg of dried fruits - figs, prunes, apricots, whatever
500g vine fruits - raisins, sultanas, whatever
5 large eggs
100g ground almonds
150g shelled hazelnuts
5 tbsp brandy
zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1/2 tsp baking powder
350g plain flour
24cm cake tin with removeable base. Line with buttered greaseproof, both base and sides; it should be 5cm above the top of the tin.
preheat oven to 160C/gas 3. Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Cut dried fruit into small pieces. Add eggs to mixture one at a time, and don't worry about curdling. Then slowly mix in ground almonds, hazelnuts, all the dried fruit, brandy and citrus gubbins.
mix flour and baking powder together, and fold into the mix. Put the mixture in the tin, smooth the top gently, and put it in the oven. Leave for an hour, then turn the oven down to 150C/gas 2 and continue baking for another 2 hours. Don't open the oven door!
test for doneness with a skewer, and leave to cool before turning out