Making your own cake does require some time but if you get ahead and have all your ingredients weighed out and the cake tin prepared, the making of the cake is relatively straight forward. And well worth the effort.

The fruit can be soaked in Brandy or Whisky even a week ahead. My recipe is based on one that my mother made for many years; I have adapted it more to my own taste, I like a really rich, dark fruit cake. If I’m feeling industrious or making these as a present I usually ice the cake with marzipan and sugar paste and finish with some festive ribbon. If you can resist nibbling the cake will keep for months.