Preheat oven to slow 150oC.
and side of a deep, 20cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Using electric beaters, beat butter,
and sugar in small mixing bowl until light and creamy.
Add eggs gradually, beating thoroughly
after each addition. Add essence, molasses, plum jam, juice and rind,
beat until combined.
Transfer mixture to large mixing bowl,
add fruit, and almonds. Using metal spoon, fold in the sifted
dry ingredients alternately with the sherry. Stir until just combined
mixture is almost smooth.
Spoon mixture into prepared tin,
sprinkle top with cold water and smooth surface with a wetted hand. Tap
cake tin gently on bench top to settle mixture.
Wrap double thickness of brown paper
around tin, secure with paper clip. Bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until
skewer comes out clean when inserted in centre of cake. Leave cake in
tin overnight before turning out.
To make Fondant Icing -
Sift icing sugar into large mixing bowl. In small pan, dissolve gelatin
in cold water. Add glucose, place over gentle heat, stirring
occasionally until the gelatin has dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in
glycerine. Cool 1 minute.
Make a well in centre of icing sugar
and pour in the gelatin mixture. Use wooden spoon to thoroughly combine.
Knead by hand until mixture is a firm,
dough-like paste. Turn mixture onto a smooth surface lightly covered
with sifted icing sugar. Knead well until smooth and pliable, mixture
should resemble Plasticine. Cover fondant securely with plastic wrap
until needed. Do not refrigerate. Best used within 2 days of making.
To cover cake with fondant, place cake
upside down on a covered cake board or large, flat plate. Brush cake
lightly and evenly with sieved jam. Knead fondant with the extra sifted
icing sugar until smooth. Roll out evenly on a smooth surface lightly
covered with icing sugar until 1 cm thick, try to roll out in the shape
of the cake. Move icing constantly to prevent it sticking to the work
Lift onto cake using rolling pin. Roll
rolling pin gently onto top of cake Ease the icing around sides and base
Coat the palms of your hands lightly
with icing sugar and rub top and side of cake lightly for 2 to 3 minutes
until icing is smooth. Cut away excess from base using sharp knife. Cake
is best left for 2 days in a clean, cool place before decorating. Do not
Soften a small amount of icing to a
paste with a little hot water. Wrap ribbon or lace around cake, secure
with a little of the softened icing.
Hold in place with a pin until icing
dries. Trim excess ribbon using small, sharp scissors.
Tie bow from remaining ribbon, place
over ribbon join, using icing paste on back to secure. Place posy of
small flowers on top of cake just prior to serving.