Traditional Christmas fruitcake

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The traditional Christmas fruitcake with a sweet, white fondant topping – by 
Cook: 720 Minutes – Medium – Serves 20 – Vegetarian

The traditional Christmas fruitcake with a sweet, white fondant topping

Ingredients

3 cups sultanas (450 g)

1 cup currants (150 g)

1 cup raisins (180 g)

1 cup chopped pitted dates (130 g)

100 g packet red glace cherries, finely chopped

⅔ cup dark rum

250 g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

2 tsp finely grated lemon rind

2 tsp finely grated orange rind

4 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup slivered almonds

¼ cup breakfast marmalade

2 cups plain flour

3 tsp ground mixed spice

250 g white fondant icing, to decorate

Icing sugar mixture, to decorate

Method

  1. Combine all fruit and ½ cup of the rum in an extra-large bowl. Stand, covered, overnight.
  2. Grease a 20cm square x 8cm deep cake pan. Line base and sides with three layers of brown paper, then three layers baking paper, both extending 5cm above pan edges.
  3. Beat butter, sugar and rinds in a small bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Stir into fruit mixture with almonds and marmalade.
  4. Sift over combined flour and spice. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth over top. Wrap three layers of newspaper around outside of pan, securing with string.
  5. Cook in a slow oven (150C) for about 3 hours and 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil during cooking if top starts to over-brown. Remove. Brush remaining rum over top. Leave cake in pan and wrap in a clean tea towel until completely cool.
  6. To decorate, knead fondant on a clean surface until smooth. Roll out between two sheets of baking paper until 7mm thick. Using a 6.5cm star cutter, cut out shapes.
  7. Serve cake topped with stars. Dust with sifted icing sugar.

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