A specialty of Siena, Italy, this dense fruit and nut cake is also known as Siena cake. You need to start this recipe the day before. Panforte will keep for up to 2 months wrapped in baking paper, then foil, in an airtight container.



1.Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan-forced. Grease a 20cm springform tin, or a 20cm square tin; line the base with baking paper. Cut rice paper to fit base of tin; place over baking paper.
2.Sift the flour, cocoa and spices into a large bowl. Add the nuts and fruit; toss to combine.
3.Place the honey, sugar and butter in a small saucepan; stir over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil; boil, uncovered, for about 45 seconds, or until the mixture registers 121°C on a sugar thermometer (see Notes). Pour the honey mixture into the nut mixture; stir quickly using an oiled spoon. Spoon mixture into the prepared tin; press down firmly. Smooth the top.
4.Bake for 30 minutes. The mixture will not look cooked, but will become firmer when cool. Cool in the tin overnight. Remove from pan. Dust with sifted icing sugar. Cut into thin wedges, to serve. If you’ve used a square tin, cut into rectangular pieces to serve, or wrap and give as a gift.

Not suitable to freeze or microwave. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a small amount of the mixture into a glass of cold water. If it can be gathered up and rolled into a hard ball, it’s ready.


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