Preheat the oven to 150oC/300oF/Gas Mark 1-2
(Fan ovens reduce the temperature to 130oC/230oF).
Grease and line an 8 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Mix together the mixed fruit, peel, cherries, brandy and ground almonds.
Sift the flour, salt and spices.
Cream the butter, sugar and lemon rind until pale and fluffy and
add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
Fold in half the flour, mix and then fold in the rest of the flour.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Put the mixture into the tin making sure there are no
air pockets and make a dip in the centre.
Cook for 1 hour 30 minutes and then cover the cake with greaseproof paper (to avoid over browning) and cook for a further 1 hour 45 minutes.
When cooled remove the cake from the tin onto a wire rack to cool further.
Keep in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid, or wrapped in a large sheet of foil, in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. Open the cake every week or two to feed by poking with a skewer in several places and dribbling over a little more of your chosen alcohol or tea.
To decorate spread a little apricot jam over the cake.
Roll out the marzipan to the required size and place on the cake.
Ice the cake using a ready to roll icing or make your own Royale icing.
Decorate as required.
**This product may contains nuts, preservatives and additives**