Preparation / Directions:
1. Mix together the dried fruit, cherries, mixed peel, nuts, lemon rind and juice and alcohol or juice in a large bowl, cover and marinate overnight.
2. Grease and line a 20-23cm (8-9inch) round, deep cake tin using a double thickness of greaseproof paper.Tie a double band of brown paper around the outside.
3. Preheat the oven to 140 øC, 275 øF, Gas Mark 1.
4. Sift the flour and spice into a bowl, add the ground almonds, sugar, butter, treacle and eggs, mix well, then beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth and glossy. Fold into the fruit mixture until evenly blended.
5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with the back of a metal spoon, making a slight depression in the centre.
6. Place on the centre shelf of the preheated oven and bake for approximately 5 hours. Test the cake with a skewer to see if it is cooked 15 minutes before the end of the suggested time.
7. Leave the cake in the tin until cold, then turn out.
8. Serve cake as it is or ice and decorate to as follows.
9. Marzipan cake following instructions on the pack.
10. Cut a circle approximately 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter from the ready to roll fondant icing and place on top of the cake in the centre.
11. Cover the whole cake with fondant icing following instructions on the pack. Make a cross through the top layer of icing just smaller than the circle of icing underneath and carefully peel back the 4 points to open out. Fill the centre with caramelized nuts.
12. To prepare the nuts, heat the sugar and water in a small pan and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for 3-4 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and the sugar starts to caramelize and turn golden.
13. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the nuts. Place small spoonfuls onto greaseproof paper to set and become crisp.
14. Arrange the caramelized nuts in the 4 pointed opening on top of the cake.