Makes 24 pieces
75g dates, chopped
25g candied peel, chopped
175g dark muscovado sugar
25g tbsp black treacle
juice and zest from one medium orange
225g unsalted butter
200ml Timothy Taylor Landlord pale ale
3 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
250g self raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp each cardamom, fennel and coriander seeds, ground
50g whole blanched split almonds to decorate
2 tbsp warm sieved apricot jam to glaze the top of the cake
Grease a 20cm square cake tin and line with baking parchment
Place the raisins, sultanas, currants, chopped dates, candied peel, muscovado sugar, treacle, orange zest and juice, butter and pale ale into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Simmer for five minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Leave for at least two hours or preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 150°C/Gas mark 2.
Stir the lightly beaten eggs into the fruit and beer mixture and gradually fold in the flour, baking powder and spices. Mix well. Spoon the cake mixture into the cake tin and place lines of almonds along the top of the cake. Bake the cake for 1½ hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. If the top browns too quickly, cover with a sheet of foil or brown paper. Cool the cake in the tin and brush with warm, sieved apricot jam to make the top of the cake glisten.