Bundaberg Christmas Cake

Serves 20

  • 5 cups mixed dried fruit
    ¾ cup sweetened dried cranberries
    ½ cup chopped pitted prunes
    ½ cup dark rum, plus ¼ cup extra
    250g butter, softened
    1 cup Bundaberg Rich Brown Sugar, firmly packed
    2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
    1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
    4 eggs, at room temperature
    ¼ cup Bundaberg Golden Syrup
    ½ cup blanched whole almonds, chopped
    1½ cups plain flour
    ½ cup self-raising flour
    2 teaspoons mixed spice
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    to decorate:
    ½ cup blanched whole almonds

1. Reserve 1 cherry from the mixed fruit for decoration. Chop any large raisins and cherries in the mixed fruit in half.  Place mixed fruit, cranberries, prunes and ½ cup rum in a large bowl.  Cover and set aside in a cool place for 5-7 days, stirring each day.
2. Preheat oven to 150ºC. Grease a deep 22cm round cake pan with butter. Line the base and sides of pan with 2 layers of brown paper, then 1 layer baking paper, extending paper 5cm above rim.
3. Beat butter, brown sugar and rind until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add golden syrup and beat again until combined.  Add this mixture to the fruit mix with the chopped almonds and stir until combined. Sift flours and spices together, then stir into fruit mixture.
4. Spoon into prepared pan, smooth surface and decorate with whole almonds and reserved cherry. Drop cake onto bench a few times to settle mixture.
5. Bake for 2¼ to 3 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Deeply prick over top of cake with a fine skewer. Spoon extra rum over cake. Leave hot cake in pan and cover tightly with foil. Wrap in a towel and leave overnight to cool. Store cake wrapped in foil and placed in an airtight container for up to 3 months.