Start this recipe the day before you wish to mix the pudding. In a large mixing bowl mix  the dried fruit, orange zest and spices together and soak overnight in the orange juice, cold tea and brandy or rum. When ready, mix in the grated apple, chopped almonds, brown sugar and black treacle. In another bowl, mix the butter and dark brown sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the breadcrumbs, rice flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt together. Stir into the soaked fruit mixture. Spoon the mixture into a loaf tin double lined with grease proof paper and even out. Bake at 175`c on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. When ready, allow to cool down completely before wrapping in foil or cling film and place somewhere cool and dry and mature for at least 2-3 weeks. To decorate, brush the cake with hot apricot jam and cover with a layer of marzipan. Cut off any excess. Melt the chocolate and pour over the top, smoothing out and allowing some to drip down the sides. Whilst still soft, decorate the top with dried fruits and nuts and allow the chocolate to set. Dust lightly with icing sugar before serving.

Serves 12

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