This is perhaps the best of all fruit cakes. It used to be made in the Cotswolds and served to those who had just come in from hunting. It can be made with brandy instead of sherry.
Cream the butter and sugar, add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well in. Add the dry ingredients gradually, then pour in a wineglass of sherry and beat well. Fold in the stiffly beaten whites, and finally the sodium bicarbonate dissolved in the vinegar. Beat well again. Bake in a greased, papered tin, with a piece of paper on the top. Place in a hot oven, 425° F., gas mark 7, then after 10 minutes lower the heat to 325° F., gas mark 3. Bake for 2 hours.
When cooked and still very hot, pour over a glass of sherry, by spoonfuls, and leave the cake, covered with a cloth, in the tin till it is quite cold.
©1975 The Estate of Elizabeth Ayrton