Christmas Brandy Fruitcake
500g packet mixed fruit
1 cup raisins (250g)
¾ cup brandy
175g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
¾ cup firmly packed dark muscovado sugar
3 tsps finely grated orange rind
2 tblsps plum jam
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups plain flour
2 tsps mixed spice
2 tblsps plum jam, warmed
750g white fondant icing
Pure icing sugar
Grease a 20cm round cake pan. Line base and side with three layers baking paper, extending paper 5cm above pan edge.
Combine all fruit and ½ cup brandy in an extra large bowl. Stand, covered, overnight.
Beat butter, sugar and rind in a small bowl of an electric mixer until just combined. Beat in jam. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined.
Stir into fruit mixture. Sift over combined flour and spice. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth top.
Cook in a slow oven (150C), covering top loosely with foil halfway through cooking, for about 2 hours, 30 minutes, or until cooked when tested. Remove.
Drizzle remaining brandy over top of hot cake in pan. Wrap pan in a clean tea towel. Stand until cold.
To decorate, trim top of cake so it’s even. Turn upside down. Brush jam over top and side.
Knead fondant on a clean bench lightly dusted with icing sugar until smooth. Roll out between two sheets of baking paper to 5mm thick. Lift fondant onto cake. Smooth over top and side. Trim excess around base.
Using a 10.5cm Christmas tree cutter, gently press in the centre of fondant. Using a pallet knife, carefully remove tree shape. Dust over icing sugar. Decorate with Christmas ribbon.