PS: I also made this to give as Christmas presents.
375g packet of mixed fruit*
2 cups sugar*
2 cups water*
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
4 cups flour - sieved
4 large eggs – lightly beaten with a fork
2 tbsp 'mixed spice' (don’t use 'all spice') - click on the link for my post on MIXED SPICE
Put all the * ingredients in a large pot and gently bring to a boil. Mix well and turn off the heat.
Add in baking powder and baking soda. Be careful at this stage as the soda has the tendency to rise very quickly. It looks as if a volcano is erupting! That is why you have to place the ingredients in a large pot to compensate for the soda rising.
Leave mixture overnight (on the kitchen bench and covered) to brew.
Next day, heat oven to 180°c (160°c fan forced oven) and line a large square tin with baking paper. Grease the paper lightly with some butter.
Add flour, eggs and mixed spice to the cooked ingredients. You don’t have to use a mixer, just a wooden spoon. Mix thoroughly.
Bake in oven for around 1 hour and 15 mins (you have to start checking the cake at the 1 hour mark). Around the 40 min mark, put a tin foil on top of the cake to prevent the top from burning and to ensure an evenly cooked cake. Serve warm with custard or by itself with a good cup of coffee or tea.