In a large sauce pan, put dried fruit, butter and water and bring to boil, lower to simmer and leave simmering for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
When cooled, Mix in beaten eggs, malt extract, sugar and salt.
Fold in the flour, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda.
Split into lined loaf tins, bake at gas mark 4/175°C for 30 minutes on the middle shelf, then 30 minutes on the bottom shelf.
Recipe courtesy of Melanie Green, runner up in the Celebrity Bake Book competition.