In a bowl, combine the dried fruit, mixed peel, brown sugar and almond meal. Pour over the 300ml brandy and leave to soak overnight in the fridge.
Next day, preheat the slow cooker to high and add boiling water to a depth of about 4cm. Cover and bring to a simmer.
Remove the fruit from the fridge and let come to room temperature. Beat the eggs with the stout then pour over the fruit and mix well with your hands.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, suet, breadcrumbs and spices then mix well. Gradually work into the fruit mixture, ensuring there are no lumps.
Grease a 2 litre ceramic pudding basin. Cut out a circle of baking paper to fit the base of the bowl, put it inside and grease again. Transfer the pudding mixture to the pudding bowl and pat down to ensure there are no air pockets.
Lay a large piece of aluminium foil on the counter top then lay a sheet of baking parchment on top of the foil. Make a 3cm wide pleat with the two sheets, then place over the pudding bowl, foil on the outside, with the pleat crossing the middle of the bowl. Secure tightly with kitchen string around the rim of the bowl and tie a sturdy string handle for ease of lifting the bowl in and out of the water. Trim any excess foil or baking parchment leaving about a 3cm overhang.
Ensure that the water in the slow cooker is simmering then lower the pudding bowl into the water, ensuring that the water comes only halfway up the side of the bowl. Cover.
Steam the pudding for 8-9 hours on high, topping up the water to the halfway point when necessary.
Remove from the slow cooker, and if making ahead allow to cool. Remove the foil and baking parchment and cover with fresh foil and parchment, again securing with string. Store in a cool dark place up to a year. If using the same day, invert over a serving plate and serve.
To flame the pudding:
Bring the 150ml brandy to a simmer in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove from the heat and transfer to a ladle. With a long match, carefully light the brandy in the ladle and pour over the hot pudding.