Dark-chocolate and sour-cherry panforte

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

The flavour-hit of sour cherry enlivens this take on the Sienese classic - an ideal treat to close a meal or open as a gift.

  • 225 gm blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 150 gm blanched hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 100 gm each dried figs and dried sour cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 30 gm dark chocolate (64% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
  • 20 gm Dutch-process cocoa, sieved, plus 25gm extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • 175 gm honey
  • 75 gm caster sugar
01   Preheat oven to 190C. Use one large sheet of baking paper to line the base and sides of a 22cm-diameter cake tin, so that there are no gaps (don’t worry about creases). Combine nuts, figs, sour cherries, chocolate and cocoa with half the cinnamon and ½ tsp ground white pepper in a bowl.
02   Stir honey and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then cook without boiling until syrupy (2-3 minutes).
03   Working quickly, pour honey mixture over nut mixture and mix well to combine, then spoon into prepared cake tin, presssing well into tin and smooth top with a hot, wet spatula. Bake until dark and glossy (35-40 minutes). Cool completely in tin (3-4 hours).
04   Combine extra cocoa with remaining cinnamon, remove panforte from tin and dust top with cocoa. Wrap tightly in baking paper, then in wrapping of your choice. The flavour of panforte will develop over time so it’s best eaten after a few days; it will keep wrapped for up to a month.
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