A to-die-for Christmas cake from Eric Lanlard, the man who made Madonna's wedding cake.
A couple of days before making the cake, soak the raisins and sultanas in brandy. They need to double in size.
On the day, cream the butter and sugar together until pale in colour. Beat the eggs in one at a time (if the mixture splits, add a bit of flour with your eggs)
Fold the spice and flour to the egg mixture followed by the brandy and lemon juice. Add the fruit gently to this batter.
Fill a greased baking tin (22cm) to the top and cook at a low temperature - 150C - for appox 3 hours. When the blade of the knife comes out clean, it is ready.
When cool, demould and spray with some brandy. Wrap in foil or cling film and store in a cool dry place until ready for icing or decorating.
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