Americans are usually surprised to learn that Australians actually eat fruitcake (or Christmas cake, as it's known here). Instead of banishing it to be forgotten at the back of a cupboard, Australians enjoy it for dessert on Christmas Day with ice cream, custard (vanilla pudding) or cream -- or even all three!
Today I started my first Christmas cake. It is made well in advance of Christmas, then soaked in alcohol so that it will keep. Today we chopped raisins, sultanas, figs, dates and currants; they will soak overnight in brandy (or rum or whiskey if you wish). In a separate bowl are chopped glace cherries, pineapple and apricots. Tune in tomorrow for the baking of the cake.