Hailing from Tuscany, this gorgeous, slightly chewy and spiced ‘cake’ is great served in small pieces with coffee or a dessert wine.
1¼ cups whole skin-on almonds, roasted
1 cup dried apricots
½ cup dates
½ cup plain flour
1½ teaspoons ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
⅓ cup caster sugar
⅓ cup honey
2 tablespoons Marsala, sherry or water
20 cm round cake tin greased and lined with baking paper, bringing it up the sides of the tin
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Roughly chop the almonds, apricots and dates and place in a large bowl.
Add the flour, all the spices and zests and combine well to coat the fruit in the flour.
Put the sugar, honey and Marsala, sherry or water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Tip over the nut mixture and stir quickly to combine, ensuring everything is coated in the honey then tip into the tin and use a fork to spread evenly. The mixture firms up quite fast. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden on top and a little puffed. Cool completely in the tin.
Dust generously with icing sugar to serve. The panforte will keep for 2-3 months, well wrapped in an airtight container. Makes 1