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Panforte Recipe

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 start to peel. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack, and cover the hazelnuts with a clean dish towel. Let 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.

Melt the 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.

Panforte:

1 cup (115 grams) raw unskinned hazelnuts

1 cup (115 grams) blanched almonds

1 cup candied citrus (170 grams) (citron, lemon, orange peel and/or mixed candied peel)

1/2 teaspoon (1 grams) ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

1 tablespoon (8 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular unsweetened or Dutch processed)

3 ounces (90 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar

2/3 cup (160 ml) (225 grams) honey

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