Step 1A couple of hours or up to 2 days before preparing fruitcake, place dark raisins, golden raisins, currants, orange and lemon peel, cherries and dates in a large bowl. Toss with hot brandy, rum or whiskey, cover and set aside.
Step 2Blend butter with granulated and brown sugars in large bowl, then blend in eggs and honey. Fold in flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, then fold in fruit and nuts. Make sure bottom of batter is well blended.
Step 3Line 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Garnish top of cake with extra cherries, if desired. Place on baking sheet (this protects bottom of cakes from baking more than tops) and bake at 325 degrees until browned, toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean and cake springs back when lightly touched, 2 1/2 hours. If tops are baking faster than interior, cover tops with foil and reduce heat to 300 degrees.
Step 4Let cakes rest in pans 15 minutes before removing to rack to cool completely. Slice or soak (see box).