Make the almond paste. Tip the ground almonds into a bowl and stir in the caster
sugar, ginger and cornflour. Pour in the
egg white and work together until you
have a smooth paste. Roll into a ball,
wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for
at least half an hour, to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan oven 160C. Line a 7.5cm/3in deep,
18cm/7in round cake tin with non-stick
baking parchment. Use two circles for
the bottom and two layers of paper for
the sides (this will help protect the cake
during the long bake).
Make the cake. Mix the fruits and stem ginger in a bowl. Put the tea in another
bowl, pour over 125ml/4fl oz boiling
water and infuse for 5 minutes. Strain
the liquid over the fruit, then stir in the
golden syrup and ground ginger.
Sift together the plain and self-raising flours. Beat the butter and sugar in a
large bowl with an electric whisk until the mixture is light in colour and drops
softly from the beaters. Beat in the eggs
a little at a time, then gently stir in the
sifted flours until smooth. Finally, stir in
the dried fruits and their liquid.
Spoon half the cake mixture into the tin and smooth the surface. Unwrap the
almond paste on a surface lightly dusted
with cornflour, and roll a third of it into a
round to barely cover the surface of the
mixture. Lift and place the paste inside
the tin and press down to remove any
trapped air. Spoon the rest of the cake
mixture on top and smooth the surface.
Cover the top of the tin with foil, scrunching it lightly at the sides to hold
it in place. Bake for 50 minutes, remove
the foil and bake for a further 45
minutes to 1 hour until a skewer inserted
into the cake comes out clean (replace
the foil hat if the cake shows signs of
overbrowning during this time). Leave in
the tin until completely cold, then
remove and strip away the lining paper.
For the decoration, put the remaining almond paste on a surface lightly dusted
with cornflour and roll into a round that
is barely 18cm/7in in diameter. Trim any
rough edges using the base of the tin.
Brush the jam over the surface of the cake, then press the paste firmly on top,
making sure it is centred and even.
Preheat the grill until hot. Place the cake on a baking tray and grill until light
brown on top, rotating it to make sure it
browns evenly. Remove and leave to
cool. (You can make up to this stage in
advance – wrap the cake in cling film
and keep in an airtight container for
up to 3 weeks. You can freeze the cake
for up to 1 month)
To finish, put the cake on your prettiest serving plate and sift icing sugar over the
almond paste. Decorate with a few
sugar-frosted flowers, dust lightly with a
little extra icing sugar and tie a ribbon
around the cake.