Forte-fy your­self

Taste - - Learn Edible Gifts -

Pan­forte sim­ply means ‘strong bread’ that is packed with nuts, choco­late, spices and dried fruit. It ac­tu­ally gets bet­ter over a week or two, mak­ing it the ideal cake to give as a gift.

Pre­heat oven to 180°C and grease and line a 20cm cake tin. Com­bine in a mix­ing bowl 220g chopped nuts (I use a com­bi­na­tion of sliv­ered al­monds, hazel­nuts, wal­nuts and brazils), 1½ cups dried fruit mix, ¾ cup plain flour, 2 Tbsp co­coa and 1 tsp cin­na­mon. In a small saucepan com­bine 70g un­salted but­ter, 70g dark choco­late, ¼ cup caster sugar and ¼ cup runny honey. Heat very gently un­til melted.

Com­bine choco­late mix­ture with nut mix­ture then pour into the pre­pared tin. Smooth over the sur­face and bake for 1 hour or un­til firm and set when the cen­tre is pressed. Al­low the cake to cool be­fore turn­ing out. When cool, wrap in foil and store in a cool place. Pan­forte can be eaten im­me­di­ately, but is at its best when about two weeks old. Dust with ic­ing sugar and serve in thin slices with cof­fee or ice cream.

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