Preheat oven to 150 ºC. Prepare the tin by greasing and lining with two thicknesses of wax paper. Brush each layer with melted margarine or oil. Tie a double band of brown paper around the outside of the tin.
Mix together the prepared fruits with the peel, almonds and grated lemon rind. Chop the cherries, wash and dry them thoroughly before adding the fruit. Sift together flour and spices. Cream butter until soft, add the sugar and continue creaming until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, beating well after each addition. If mixture starts to curdle, add a little flour with the egg.
Fold in half the flour and then fold in the rest, using a metal spoon. Carefully fold in the fruit and place mixture in prepared tin. Spread mixture evenly with spatula, making a slight dip in the centre.
Place in oven and bake for six hours. To test if cake is cooked, insert a skewer into the centre. It should come out clean. When cake is cool, turn out onto a wire rack.
Wrap the cake and leave to mature, more brandy can be drizzled over the cake from time to time.
Cover the cake with almond paste (marzipan). Leave to dry out for one week. Cover with plastic icing and leave to dry for another week.
Place cake on a silver board. Make up royal icing, colour to shade desired using food colouring.
To cover the cake, make sure that the cake is even. Icing will not cover flaws or straighten sloping tops no matter how many coats are applied. If care is taken with the application of the marzipan and plastic icing a good result will be achieved. Application will be easier if you level the cake first, with a sharp knife. Knead marzipan until soft and pliable on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. Roll marzipan out to a size that will cover the cake completely. Brush cake top and sides, with melted jam. Using your rolling pin, lift marzipan and place over cake to cover completely. Using your hands, shape marzipan gently over top and sides of cake being careful not to tear it. Trim excess marzipan with a knife. Leave to dry. To apply plastic icing, brush marzipan with egg white, over the top and sides. As with marzipan, roll out plastic icing and place over marzipan, trim and allow to dry before decorating with royal Icing.