Soak 900g mixed dried fruit and 225g glace cherries with approximately half a bottle of port and half a bottle of white rum. You need enough to cover the fruit so add equal quantities of more wine/rum if necessary. Leave the fruit for 1 to 2 weeks but you can leave it for several months. Turn fruit occasionally to make sure the alcohol soaks in. When it comes time to use it for the cake if there’s plenty of liquid left in the container don’t add it all to the cake it will be too sloppy. Save it and drizzle over the cake when it's cooked.
Blend the soaked fruits in a food processor. Put into the largest mixing bowl you have and add the lemon juice, lemon zest, mixed spice, gravy powder, nutmeg, 200g almond meal and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir well.
In another bowl mix together plain flour, salt, baking powder and bicarb soda.
Cream together butter, caster sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually add in 9 eggs and the flour mix. The best way is to add a couple of eggs and 2 large tablespoons flour mix, blend and then add the next 'batch' until all is used and mixed in.
In the large mixing bowl gently mix together the creamed butter/egg/flour mix with the liquidised fruits.
Prepare your cake tins. Spring form pans are best, double-line them with greaseproof paper. This mix is enough for a 25cm square tin or 30cm round tin. Gently pour in the cake batter.
Take some old newspapers and string; tie a layer of newspaper around the tins; lay a sheet of newspaper on the oven shelf before you put the cake tin in the oven and then put a sheet of newspaper over the cake tin when baking.
These cakes take about 3 1/4 hours at 180 degrees C. Remove the covering top layer of newspaper about 30 minutes before the end of cooking time. Insert a skewer into the cake to test if its done; if it comes out clean then its time to take the cake out.
Remove all the greaseproof paper etc. and lay the cake on a rack to cool. Stab the cake with a metal skewer and then drizzle the rum/wine liquid over the cake.