Preheat the oven to 160 °C and grease four 13 cm cake tins.
Line with baking paper.
Heat the butter, condensed milk and water until the butter has melted and leave to cool.
Sift together the dry ingredients and add the nuts and fruit.
Add the vanilla essence to the cooled butter mixture and stir into the dry ingredients.
Turn the batter into the prepared cake tins, place them in a line cardboard box and cover with a layer of aluminium foil.
Bake for 55 minutes or until a testing skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Moisten each cake with a tot of brandy as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Cool the cakes in the tins before turning them out.
Wrap in clingfilm or aluminium foil.
Brush each cake with smooth apricot jam and cover with a thin layer of rolled out marzipan.
Brush very lightly with a little water and cover the entire cake with a layer of plastic icing.
Dust with icing sugar and store in an airtight container until needed.