Christmas is incomplete without the traditional fruit cake. The fondant icing is a stress-free option and for kids, fondant covered-anything gives Christmas a magical touch.
In a large bowl, place all the dried fruit and soak them in Calvados for 48hrs (if you are in a real hurry, you can get away with 6hrs).
Preheat fan forced oven to 140C. If you are fan forceless, take it up to 150C. Grease a 26cm springform pan with butter and set aside. Sift the flour (reserve 1 tablespoon) and baking powder and combine it with ground cinnamon and mixed spice. In another bowl, combine mixed peel, pistachios and one tablespoon plain flour.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, and alternate it with sifted flour. Mix well. Gently mix in Calvados-soaked dried fruit, pistachio mix and maple syrup. Then put mixture into the springform pan and hollow out the centre to help with the rising of the cake.
Bake for 60-70minutes or until a skewer, when pierced through the cake, comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool completely before removing it from the tin. Store cake in an airtight container and everyday for a week, drizzle 3 tablespoons of Calvados.
If using fondant, brush fruit cake with Calvados. On a clean work bench dusted with icing sugar, roll out 500g fondant to 3mm thickness with a rolling pin to get a sheet of fondant wide enough to cover the cake. Trim excess fondant then smooth the top and the sides of the cake with a fondant smoother. Decorate with edible coloured pearls.