Rich Christmas Cake

21/2 lbs of mixed fruit
2 level tablespoons of golden syrup
3 tablespoons sherry
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¾ cup of water
½ lb butter
½ lb brown sugar
5 eggs
10 oz plain flour
1 teaspoon Parisian essence
2 oz self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons mixed spice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
50g crumbed walnuts

Place all fruit, nuts, golden syrup, sherry, water and bicarbonate of soda in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time.
Simmer for two minutes, remove from heat and place in a bowl, cover and stand overnight.
Next day, cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well then add Parisian essence.
Sift flour, salt and spices and pour into fruit mixture – this breaks up the fruit.
Then add ½ of fruit mixture to creamed mixture and stir well. Once combined, add the remaining fruit and again, stir well.
Grease and line a 9” cake tin and pour in mixture.
Bake at 2750 for 3½ hours and test by placing a skewer in the middle of the cake. If skewer comes out clean, cake is ready.

Decorate cake with a sprinkling of icing sugar and a sprig of holly.

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