Sort out the dried fruit, removing stalks and checking that the fruits are clean and dry.
Slice the fruits to the size of black currants or to about 1 cm, keeping the slices uniform as much as possible.
Slice the dates a little larger.
Place the sliced fruit in a non reactive food grade jar or pot with a closely fitting lid. Plastic may react with the soaking liquid. Glass or ceramic would be best. Metal containers are also to be avoided.
Pour half a cup of liquid onto the dry fruits, stir so the liquid settles in.
Continue pouring until the liquid covers the top of the fruit.
Cover the pot or jar with an air tight lid and store it in a dark place.
Stir the fruit daily or at least once in two days, to help moisten the fruit at the top which starts becoming dry.
After a day or two you will find that the soaking liquid is no longer visible at the top level of the fruits, as it has been absorbed by the dry fruits.
When the soaking liquid is no longer visible on the top of the fruits, top it up with the same alcohol that you used for soaking (e.g. Rum) or other soaking liquid, one tablespoon at a time, every few days till you bake the cake.
The top level should be moist and not dry, so add as much liquid as you need to just cover the top.
Gently stir once a week and keep topping with the same liquid.
If using non alcoholic soaking liquid, store the container of soaked fruit in the fridge until its time to bake the cake.
Alcohol soaked fruit may be kept at room temperature (unless its very hot outside) as the alcohol itself acts as a preservative. However store the container in a dark place.