YOU WILL NEED
55g ground almonds 110g currants 110g sultanas 110g raisins 55g glacé Amarena cherries, quartered 30g mixed candied citrus peel, finely diced zest of 1 large orange 225g soft salted butter 225g caster sugar 4 large eggs, whisked 225g plain flour, sifted 40 blanched almonds, halved lengthwise and toasted
■ Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C Fan/Gas Mark 2. Line the bottom and sides of a 10 x 18cm round cake tin with baking paper. Wrap more around the outside 2cm higher than the top of the tin. Tie in place with string.
■ In a bowl, mix ground almonds, dried fruit, glacé cherries, candied peel and orange zest. Set to one side.
■ Place the butter in a mixing bowl and cream until soft. Add the sugar and beat until smooth and pale. If using an electric mixer, keep on medium to avoid over-creaming – if the mixture is too light, the fruit will sink.
■ Beat the egg into the butter and sugar in three stages, alternating with 1 tbsp of the flour between each addition. When all the egg is added, fold in the remaining flour. Add the dried fruit mixture and fold into the batter until evenly combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake tin and level off the top. Arrange the blanched almonds in circles on top.
■ Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 2½–3 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
■ Remove from the oven and allow the cake to sit for 15 minutes before turning it out of the tin onto a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight tin.
Recipe and image courtesy of Ballymaloe Desserts: Iconic Recipes and Stories from Ireland by JR Ryall, published by Phaidon (£39.95). Photography by Cliodha Prendergrast.