220g cherries preserved in kirsch

100ml of the kirsch syrup

200g seedless raisins

400g pitted prunes, chopped

200g soft dried figs, chopped

Zest of an orange

Zest of a lemon

15ml brandy

175g plain flour

2.5ml cinnamon

2.5ml nutmeg

5ml, heaped, baking powder

2.5ml salt

225g unsalted butter

15ml dark muscavado sugar

225g light muscavado or soft brown sugar

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

50g ground almonds

15ml treacle


First place the cherries, kirsch syrup, raisins, prunes, figs, zests and brandy in a large bowl.

Stir the mixture every 20 mins or so and within 2 hours all the alcohol will have been soaked up and the fruit will be plump.

Preheat oven to 140C

Prepare a cake tin or tins. I have made a 22cm by 6cm deep round flexible mould. This took 2 hours. The mix also makes 3 x 450g loaf tins, here I use a loaf tin liner.

If you use a traditional non-stick loose bottomed tin then butter and flour well, or line well with silicone paper or use a liner.

Sift the flour into a bowl along with the spices, baking powder and salt, leave to one side.

Cream the butter and sugars in a large bowl, until the mixture becomes paler and fluffier.

Slowly add the eggs, add a little flour if mixture curdles too badly.

Fold in the flour and almonds.

Then thoroughly mix in the fruit and treacle and pour into the cake tin.

Bake until a skewer comes out clean, up to 2-3 hours, will depend on cake tin.

All wrapped ready for Xmas

Plum Cake

I thought the nutty topping a good idea after seeing one in the old Delia Smith Christmas book.

It is very simple. Choose the nuts you want to use. Toast them lightly.

Apricot jam is the glue and glaze. Warm the jam in a pan and seive to remove the fruit, giving a smooth runny jam, keep warm.

I drew round the cake tin on a piece of silicone paper. Then played with the arrangement of the nuts.Once you've decided, paint the top of the cake with jam. Place the nuts on the cake in the pattern, then paint with lots more jam.

Leave to cool and set. The jam will set the nuts onto the cake.