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.