A real fruit cake should be made up to a month in advance. This one only gets better if you give it time to mellow and soak in the whiskey.
2 cups (500ml) bourbon whiskey
500g glace cherries, halved
2 cups (440g) white sugar
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
2 cups (375g) packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 cups (675g) flour
500g chopped pecans
1 cup (250ml) bourbon
Preparation:25min › Cook:5hours › Extra time:14days soaking › Ready in:14days5hours25min
Preheat oven to 135 degrees C. Grease a 25cm ring tin and line bottom with baking paper.
Soak raisins and cherries in 2 cups of bourbon for 48 hours. Before making cake drain well and reserve the bourbon.
In a separate bowl mix flour, nutmeg and baking powder. Set aside.
In a small bowl cream butter with the white sugar. In a separate small bowl, cream yolks and brown sugar until very light.
In a very large bowl combine the two sugar mixtures and blend well.
Alternately add flour mixture and reserved bourbon in three stages, mixing well with each addition.
Add soaked fruit and fold in. Add nuts and fold in.
In a clean medium bowl whip egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter until evenly distributed.
Pour into prepared ring tin. Place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven and bake for 4 to 5 hours. Ovens vary, so watch the baking time. Test cake with a toothpick (may take longer than 5 hours).
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out. When almost cool brush sides and inside hole heavily with bourbon. Wrap cake with bourbon-soaked cheesecloth then with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight and saturate again with bourbon. Cover with plastic wrap and then with foil and store for at least 2 weeks in a cool dry place.