1kg mixed dried fruit
2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
1/4 cup (60ml) fresh orange juice
1/4 cup (60ml) dry sherry, or brandy
250g butter, softened
1 cup (220g) brown sugar
2 cups (300g) plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1/2 cup (110g) apricot jam
2kg white fondant icing
Pure icing sugar, to dust
Combine the dried fruit, orange rind, orange juice and sherry or brandy in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight to soak.
Preheat oven to 150C. Grease and line a 20cm square cake pan with 3 layers of baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the fruit mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour and mixed spice. Stir until well combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Gently tap on bench to settle mixture. Bake for 2 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cover with foil and turn cake onto the kitchen bench. Leave in pan to cool completely.
Use a large serrated knife to cut cake into 16 x 5cm squares. Melt the jam in a saucepan over medium heat. Strain through a sieve into a small bowl.
Divide the fondant into 16 portions. Dust a clean work surface with icing sugar. Roll 1 fondant portion into a 15cm disc. Brush the warm jam over the top and sides of 1 cake square. Ease fondant over cake square to cover. Use a small sharp knife to trim. Repeat with the remaining cakes and fondant. Tie ribbon around cakes to decorate.
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