A traditional Christmas cake can take months to perfect... you need to start in about September to leave enough time to dowse in booze. Not this one though. Ours you can do in less than a day!
Chop up the dates nad prunes into smaller pieces and place into a large saucepan with the sultanas, chopped stem ginger and mixed peel. Stir in the mixed spice, cocoa, butter, sugar, honey, stem ginger syrup and rum. Grate in the orange zest and then squeeze in the juice. Heat to a gentle simmer and bubble for 10 minutes or so, then take off of the heat and leave to cool for another 10 minutes.
Grab and butter a deep 24cm round cake tin. Cut out 3 circles of baking paper to fit neatly inside the base. Stick one to the bottom of the tin, holding the other two back for now.
Cut a long length of baking paper and fold it in half to double over. Fold up the bottom folded edge to create a 'seam' about 2cm deep and crease well at the fold. Cut incisions along the seam about 1cm into the fold. Run the sheet of baking paper around the inside of the cake tin so that the cut seam at the bottom folds in and sticks to the base. Place a second round circle on top of this, stuck down with a little oil or butter to trap in those up-turned folds.
Cut another long strip of baking paper, fold it over to double up and wrap this around the outside of the tin, securing it in place with butchers string. *All of this seems like a lot of effort, but it protects the cake from the metal tin whilst it's in the oven for 2 hrs!
Crack the eggs into the slightly cooled mixture and beat together with the ground almonds and flour until well combined.
Transfer to your prepared tin and bake at 150°C for 1 hour. Add the final circle of bakign paper on top of the cake after an hour in the oven, then continue baking for another hour.
Remove from the oven, cover with a damp tea towel as it cools. Remove from it's tin, dust in icing sugar and decorate with holly.