- 150g blanched almonds
- 150g roasted hazelnuts, roasted, skinned
- 300g dried fruit, roughly chopped ( I used soft figs, diced apricots, raisins)
- 100ml verjuice
- 100g mixed peel
- 100g plain flour
- 40g Dutch cocoa
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 150g honey
- 125g sugar
- 70g butter
- Confectioners rice paper for baking (available at most Supermarkets)
1. Preheat oven 160C
2. Soak the 300g dried fruits in the verjuice for 1 hour.
3. Prepare a 23cm cake pan by greasing the sides, then lining the base with rice paper to fit. If the rice paper is unavailable, baking paper will do. I like to use either almond oil or melted butter to grease the pan. If you are using baking paper, line the sides of the tins too.
4. Roast the almonds and hazelnuts in the oven till golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. To skin hazelnuts, rub the still-warm toasted nuts in a tea towel, to get off as much of the skin as possible. Chop the nuts roughly.
5. Combine the fruits, flour, cocoa and spices in a large bowl.
6. Melt the honey, butter and sugar together in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Boil until the mixture reaches 115C on a sugar thermometer, or forms a soft ball when a little is dropped into cold water.
7. Warm the prepared nuts on the oven for a few minutes and add to the mixed fruits and spices. Pour over the honey/sugar mix. It is easier to do all the mixing while the ingredients are still hot. Stir the mixture well with a wooden spoon, it will be very stiff.
Spoon into prepared dish and level with a wet metal spoon, or damp hands, to compact it and smooth the surface.
8. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes or the centre is just firm to the touch, like just-baked custard, and if you touch it, your finger will come away clean when it’s done. It will firm up when cold.
9. Let the panforte cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan. Remove the springform carefully (sticky edges might tear, so keep an eye out), then let cool completely.
To serve: Dust with icing sugar
Storage: Panforte can be kept for several months, well wrapped, stored in the fridge. Bring to room temperature to serve.
Make individual panforte for gift giving. These cardboard baking cases are from good homewares stores or specialist food supply stores.