Chocolate Simnel Cake

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150 g prunes, pitted and chopped (it’s easiest to snip them up with kitchen scissors)

70 g sour cherries

55 g raisins

50 g currants

50 g sultanas

50 g natural glacé cherries, cut in half

2 balls of Chinese stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped

65 ml of ginger syrup (from the stem ginger jar)

30 ml brandy

35 ml port

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

The grated zest and juice of 2 oranges

85 g dark muscovado sugar

85 g butter

2 tbsp. cocoa

100 g dark chocolate

40 g ground hazelnuts (or you can use almonds if you prefer)

75 g rice flour

2 tsp. mixed spice

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

A large pinch of bicarbonate of soda

A large pinch of baking powder

1 large egg, beaten

200 g skinned hazelnuts.

200 g icing sugar, sifted

A splash of Frangelico (or you can use brandy)

1 tbsp. of apricot jam

1 egg yolk

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