Panforte: You will
need a 9 inch (23 cm) springform pan (or a two piece tart pan). Butter and line
the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
Preheat your oven
to 350 degree F (180 degree C). Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet
and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until brown and fragrant and the skins
peel. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack, and cover the hazelnuts with a clean dish towel.
the nuts 'steam' for about 5 minutes. Then briskly rub the
nuts to remove most of their skins. Set aside to let the nuts cool
completely and then coarsely chop.
Next, place the almonds
on a baking sheet and bake for about 6-8 minutes or until lightly
brown and fragrant. Let cool and then coarsely chop.
Reduce your oven
temperature to 300 degree F (150 degree C).
In a large bowl combine
the nuts, candied fruit,
spices, flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
chocolate in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of
simmering water. Then stir the melted chocolate into
the chopped nut and fruit mixture.
In a saucepan, stir
together the sugar and honey. Place the saucepan over medium heat and
bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Wash down the
sides of the saucepan with a pastry brush that has been dipped in warm
water. Then clamp a
candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Continue to boil the
mixture over medium heat, without stirring (swirl the pan if
necessary), until the temperature
reaches the soft ball stage, 240 degrees F (115 degrees C).
Remove from heat and stir the
sugar/honey syrup into the chopped nut and
fruit mixture. The mixture will stiffen quickly so once
combined, transfer to your prepared pan. With damp hands, or the
back of a spoon or offset spatula, evenly spread the Panforte,
smoothing the top.
Bake in your preheated
oven for about 30 - 35 minutes
or until the surface has fine blisters. Remove from oven and place on
a wire rack. While the Panforte is still warm, remove the sides of the
pan and heavily dust the top of the cake with confectioners'
(powdered/icing) sugar. Gently rub the sugar into the cake.
Once the cake has completely cooled,
wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in a cool, dry place.
Well wrapped this cake will keep several months.
Serve this cake in thin
slices as it is quite rich.
Makes about 16 servings.
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