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Irene's Christmas Cake

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400g fruit cake mix
100g glace cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 block dates, roughly chopped
1 cup brandy / orange juice / apple juice
1/2 cup prune juice
250g butter at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup marmalade
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 cup mixed, roughly chopped nuts (I used walnuts and almonds)
Extra almonds and cherries to decorate
1/3 cup brandy, extra
Combine all the fruit and brandy, prune juice / orange juice in a large glass bowl.
Cover with cling wrap and set aside to macerate overnight.
Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl.
Add the eggs and beat well.
Add the marmalade and beat until well combined.
Fold in the flour and mixed spice until just combined.
Stir in the fruit mixture & nuts.
Spoon into prepared (lined and greased) pan and smooth the surface.
Decorate with nuts and cherries as desired.
Cover in foil and bake in a pre-heated oven @ 150°C for 2 hours.
Remove foil, check for doneness with a toothpick and if necessary, continue to bake for ±½ hour until done.
Pour the extra brandy over the hot cake.
Cover and set aside to cool completely.
Wrap in foil and then cling wrap to store until needed.
Prepared, tried and tested by:  Irene Dasari

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