Place the fruit, butter, sugar, honey, orange juice and zest, Tia Maria, Van der Hum, mixed spice, cocoa, coffee and salt in a saucepan and slowly bring to a slow boil while stirring.
Simmer for 10 minutes. Cool and let it stand overnight in the fridge.
Cover the mixture with plastic wrap touching the mixture to avoid a skin forming.
Remove the fruit from the fridge the next morning and let it come to room temperature for a couple of hours which will make it easier to mix with the other ingredients.
Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC.
Line the sides and bottom of a 22cm loose bottom cake tin with baking paper. The sides of the tin needs to be about 7cm and use two strips of baking paper to line the sides – it is easier to work with than one long piece.
Also make sure the paper is about 3cm higher than the edges of the tin.
In a large bowl, add the eggs, flour, almonds, nuts (if used), baking powder, baking soda and salt to the fruit mixture and mix well.
Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 2 hours until the cake is firm and the top is quite shiny.
Start testing if the cake is cooked 15 minutes before 2 hours are up by inserting a sharp knife into the middle of the cake.
Do not worry if there is a very slight bit of moist batter attached to the knife. If the cake is too uncooked return to the oven for another 15 minutes and test again.
Cover the top with foil so that the cake does not become too dark on top.
When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and pierce some holes with a sharp knife.
Mix the brandy or rum and sherry and carefully pour it over the hot cake.
Let the cake cool down complete and remove from the cake tin.
Wrap tight in tinfoil and let it rest for 10 days in an airtight container.
After 5 days of resting brush the cake liberally with some more brandy or rum, wrap again in tin foil and rest for the other 5 days.Recipe reprinted with permission of Heinstirred. To see more recipes, click here.