If you make this cake well in advance and plan to store it,
you'll need to "feed" it with extra rum every week or so. Unwrap
the cake, drizzle rum over the top, wrap it up again and re-seal in
120 gm eachgolden raisins and sultanas80 gm eachdried figs and currants, finely chopped40 gmdried apricots, finely chopped40 gmcandied orange, finely choppedJuiceand finely grated rind of 1 orange120 mlgolden rum or whisky, plus extra for drizzling150 gmsoftened butter140 gmbrown sugar2eggsScrapedseeds of 1 vanilla bean170 gmplain flour¼ tspbicarbonate of soda1 tsp eachground ginger and ground cinnamon¼ tsp eachground cloves and finely grated nutmeg500 gmfondantFor dusting:pure icing sugar, sievedTo serve:silver cachous or dragées (optional)
Combine dried fruit, orange juice and rind, and rum in a large bowl, stir to coat fruit and set aside.
Preheat oven to 150C. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (6-8 minutes), add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl, then add vanilla seeds and beat to combine.
Add dry ingredients and ½ tsp sea salt, beat to just combine, then transfer to a large bowl, add fruit mixture and stir. Spoon into a 20cm-square cake tin, buttered and lined with baking paper, and smooth top. Cover tightly with baking paper and secure with string, then cover with foil and bake until a skewer inserted withdraws clean (1-1½ hours). Stand in tin for 10 minutes, then remove cake and drizzle with rum. When cake is completely cooled, wrap in foil and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Knead fondant on a piece of baking paper dusted with sieved icing sugar to soften. Roll out, dusting fondant and rolling pin with sieved icing sugar, to 3mm thick then cut out a 20cm square. Brush cake with a little extra rum, place fondant square on top and set aside. Cut out stars of various sizes from remaining fondant, brush lightly with water to help them stick, then place on top of cake, sprinkle with cachous and set aside (the cake can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days at this stage).
To serve, cut cake into cubes and place on a serving tray, then scatter with silver cachous.