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Panforte

This traditional Italian Christmas cake makes a gorgeous gift. Wrapped in clingfilm it will keep for two months

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Ingredients (Serves 10-12)

  • 100g/4oz shelled hazelnuts
  • 100g/4oz blanched almonds
  • 125g/41/2oz candied mixed peel, chopped
  • 100g/4oz dried figs, finely chopped
  • 1 x 37g pack Maltesers, crushed
  • 50g/20z plain flour
  • 25g/1oz cocoa
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 175g/6oz caster sugar
  • 175g/6oz clear honey
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Lightly oil a 20cm/8in sandwich tin and line the base and sides with rice paper.

Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan until lightly tinged all over. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then roughly chop.

Mix together the nuts, peel, figs and Maltesers in a bowl. Sift in the flour, cocoa and spices and mix together well.

Heat the sugar and honey gently in a pan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil for 2 minutes until slightly syrupy. Stir into the dry ingredients, mixing well, then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and press down. Bake for 45 minutes. Leave to cool for 15 minutes then turn out. Peel off the paper and cool completely. Dust liberally with icing sugar.

 



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