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Rich Fruit Cake

500 g seedless raisins
500 g dates,chopped
250 g sultanas
250 g currants
250 g candied peel
125 g ginger preserve,chopped
125 g glacÚ cherries,chopped
75 ml brandy
500 g white sugar
200 ml water,Boiling
500 g cake flour
2 ml mixed spice,Ground
2 ml cinnamon,Ground
2 ml ginger,Ground
2 ml salt
500 g butter
8 lg eggs,beaten
5 ml baking soda
15 ml strong coffee
250 g pecan nuts,walnuts or
chopped brandy,rum or van
-der hum

Mix the raisins, dates, sultanas, currants, peel, ginger and cherries. Pour the brandy over the mixture and soak overnight. Heat 250 g of the sugar over moderate heat until starting to brown. Add the boiling water and cool.
Sift the flour, spices and salt together. Cream the butter with the remaining sugar. Add a little of the eggs to the creamed mixture alternately with the flour mixture, stirring constantly. Repeat until all the eggs and flour mixture have been added. Add the cooled syrup, then fold in the soaked fruit. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the coffee and add it to the batter with the nuts. Spoon the batter into a large, well-greased cake pan lined with aluminium foil. Cover with foil. Bake for 4 - 5 hours at 150 C. Turn out and sprinkle with brandy, rum or Van der Hum liqueur. Store in an airtight container in a cool place, and sprinkle with brandy, rum or liqueur once a week. Leave to mature for at least a month.

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