- Put butter/margarine, sugar, fruit, rind, juice and one baby bottle of the brandy into a large saucepan.
- Slowly bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, until the butter/margarine has melted.
- Turn off heat and leave to cool for approx 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile pre-heat oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas 1 and line an 8"/20cm round deep cake tin with greaseproof paper.
- Stir the eggs, nuts and ground almonds into the fruit mixture and mix well.
- Finally, stir in the sieved flour and mixed spice.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth it out evenly - the back of a metal spoon dipped in water is handy for this!
- Bake for 2½-3 hours approx. After 2 hours, cover with paper if cake is browning too quickly. To check the cake is done, insert a skewer into the centre - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
- Make holes in top of warm cake and pour over remaining brandy.
- Leave cake in tin to cool completely.
- When cold, wrap in greaseproof paper and then tinfoil. Store in a cool dry place.
This mixture can be divided between two 900g/2lb lined loaf tins or two 15cms/6" round cake tins or a combination of both and will bake in about 1½ hours at the same temperature. This is ideal for those who just want a small cake and the second cake would make a very acceptable Christmas present!