CHOCOLATE FRUIT AND NUT WREATH
Preparation time 20 mins Cooking time 1 hour 35 mins Serves 12
Cooking oil spray, to grease 150g Brazil nuts 150g dry roasted almonds 120g dry roasted macadamias 200g glacé cherries 375g mixed dried fruit 180g pitted dates, halved 100g dark chocolate, finely chopped 1/3 cup plain flour 2 free-range eggs 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed 80ml brandy, plus extra 40ml Finely grated zest of 1 orange ¼ cup self-raising flour ¼ cup cocoa powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ cup apricot jam, to brush
STEP 1 Preheat oven to 140ºc fan-forced (160°C conventional). Grease base and sides of a 21cm (base measurement), 10cm-deep, 5cm wide centre, removable base ring tin with cooking oil. Line base and sides, including centre, with baking paper.
STEP 2 Coarsely chop half of the nuts, then transfer to a large bowl, reserving remaining whole nuts for decoration. Add half of the cherries, reserving remaining for decoration also, then stir in mixed dried fruit, dates and chocolate and stir to combine. Add plain flour. Toss well to coat in flour.
STEP 3 Beat eggs, sugar, brandy and zest together in a large bowl with a whisk. Add self-raising flour, cocoa powder and cinnamon and whisk to combine. Fold through fruit and nut mixture until all of the flour has been incorporated. Spoon into prepared tin and smooth surface. Tap firmly on bench.
STEP 4 Gently press reserved nuts and cherries onto top of the cake. Bake for 1 hour 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in tin. Turn out, nut side up.
STEP 5 Put jam and extra brandy in a small saucepan. Simmer and then brush over cake. Set aside for 30 minutes. Serve.