Make the cake part at least a month before Christmas and ensure to feed regularly. The beauty of this recipe is you can change the the fruit and nut types!
Put dried fruit mixture into a large bowl and chop into small pieces (I use kitchen scissors for this) with alcohol and citrus juice.
Mix well, cover and leave overnight.
Try to avoid using pre chopped dried fruit. They tend to be much drier and not as nice!
Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Butter and double-line a deep cake tin – 20cm round or 18cm square – with enough baking parchment to come about 2.5cm above the top of the tin.
Wrap the outside of the tin with a few sheets of newspaper, securing with staples or string.
Mix the clotted cream, sugar and vanilla together until creamy, then beat in the eggs one by one.
Tip in the flour, mixed spice, soaked dried fruit and any liquid from the bowl, plus your chosen nuts, if using.
I put the flour and spices into the mix then put the batter mix into the nuts and fruit as my mixer bowl isn’t big enough!
Stir everything together, then scrape into the cake tin.
Using the back of your spoon, make a slight dent in the centre of the mixture, then bake for 1½ hrs.
Reduce oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1, loosely cover the top of the cake with a double sheet of foil or baking parchment, and bake for another 45 mins-1 hr or until a skewer poked right to the bottom comes out clean.
Cool in the tin, then lift out and wrap in greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
Keep in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid, or wrapped in a large sheet of foil, in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
Open the cake every week or two to feed by poking with a skewer in several places and dribbling over a little more of your spiced rum.