Cream the butter and the sugar until light in colour and then add the eggs one at a time beating back to a light fluffy mixture each time. Note: add a little flour with each egg to help prevent the mixture curdling.
Mix the flour and other powder ingredients together.
Mix the fruits together.
Add the flour to the fruits and mix well, then add the Creamed butter, sugars and eggs.
Add the Rum and Almond Essence.
Mix well together and borrow some children to stir the mixture with a wooden spoon reminding them each to make a Christmas Wish. If they tell anyone it will not come true.
Line a cake tin with greased proof paper and wrap the outer sides and base of the tin with three layers of brown paper. Fill the tin to approximately two thirds full and bake in the center of the oven at 145C for approximately 2.5 to 3.5 hours or Gas Mark 3 for 2.5 to 3.5 hours. Test the cake with a wooden skewer. If cake mix sticks to the skewer then the cake is not cooked. Also lift the cake out - if it is still ticking it is not cooked. You may need to cover the cake to stop it burning but that depends upon your oven.
Remove the cake and allow it to stand for two hours and then remove it from the tin and cool overnight on a wire rack.
The cake is best made in September and stored until the beginning of December. Store the cake wrapped in grease proof paper in an air tight container. Do not place foil next to the cake, always layer with greased proof paper.
At the beginning of December remove the cake and place it onto an icing or cake board for decoration, first removing all greased proof paper. Trim the cake to remove burnt pieces and to make the top flat. Feed the cake with brandy or rum by making holes in the top and slowly pouring the liquid in using a funnel.
Now the cake is ready for the Almond Paste and decoration.
Please do not offend my Mother's cake recipe by buying Almond Paste. It is very easy to make and makes all the difference.