Panforte recipe

This Italian dessert is popular during the festive season. Chewy, nutty and sweet, it’s packed with pistachios, almonds and dried fruits.

How to

1. Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 2 and oil and line a 20cm springform baking tin. Put the pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts onto a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Finely chop half of the nuts, then roughly chop the remainder and tip all of them into a large bowl. Add the chopped figs and candied peel along with the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper, and a pinch of salt.

Panforte

2. Pour the honey and sugar into a small pan and heat until it reaches 115C on a sugar thermometer. Alternatively, drop a ½ tsp into a glass of cold water. Leave for 30 seconds to cool, then squeeze between your fingers – it should be a soft ball. If the syrup dissipates in the water then it needs a little longer. If it goes into a hard ball then you have taken it too far. Pour the syrup into the bowl and mix really well until evenly combined.

3. Press the mixture into the tin, smooth over with a lightly oiled offset spatula and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin. Dust with icing sugar and cut into slices to serve.

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