CAKE INGREDIENTS

Softened Butter - 225g (8 oz)

Castor sugar - 225g (8 oz)

Eggs - 4

Self-raising flour - 225g (8 oz)

Sultanas -225g (8 oz)

Currants - 110g (4 oz)

Glacé cherries - 110g (4 oz) quartered

Chopped candied peel - 50g (2 oz)

Zest of 2 lemons

Mixed spice - 2 tsp.

FILLING AND TOPPING

Almond paste - 450g (1 lb)

Apricot jam - 2 tbsp

1 beaten egg (for glaze)

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 150 °C / 300 °F / Gas 2.

1...Butter and line the base and sides of a 20 cm (8 inch) deep round cake tin

with buttered greaseproof paper.

2.... Place all the cake ingredients bowl and beat well.

Place half the mixture in the prepared tin.

3.... Take one-third of the almond paste and roll it out into a circle the size of the tin.

Place it on top of the cake mixture.

Spoon the remaining cake mixture over and smooth the surface.

4.... Bake for about 2½ hours until well risen and firm.

(If the top of the cake is browning too quickly in the oven, cover it with aluminium foil.)

Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

5.... When the cake has cooled, brush the top with a little warmed apricot jam

and roll out half the remaining almond paste to fit the top.

Press firmly on the top and crimp the edges to decorate.

6.... Mark a criss-cross pattern on the almond paste with a sharp knife.

Roll the remaining almond paste into 11 balls.

7.... Brush the almond paste with beaten egg and arrange the balls around the outside.

Brush the tops of the balls with egg as well.

Place the cake under a hot grill to turn the almond paste golden.

8.... Decorate with crystallised flowers if you like.