A traditional Italian dessert, this panforte incorporates fruits and nuts with an undertone of spice and is topped with a nut and caramel mixture.


1 cup pitted, roughly chopped dates

200 g packet mixed glace cherries, halved

½ cup toasted hazelnuts, skins removed

½ cup toasted almonds

¼ cup toasted macadamias

½ cup roughly chopped dark chocolate

1 tbsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 orange, finely grated zest

⅓ cup sugar

⅓ cup honey

40 g unsalted butter

Icing sugar, for dusting


1Preheat oven to slow, 150 C. Lightly spray and line base and sides of a 20 cm springform pan.

2In a large bowl, combine dates, cherries, nuts, chocolate, spice, pepper and zest.

3In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, honey and butter. Heat on medium, stirring, until beginning to melt - do not stir again or the sugar will crystallize.

4Bring to a boil and cook 3 to 5 mins until a little dropped into cold water forms a soft ball when moulded between fingers.

5Working quickly, pour caramel over nut mixture, mixing well. Pour into pan. Smooth top with a spatula. Bake 10 to 15 mins. Allow to cool.

6If the mixture has not set, place in fridge. Cut into small wedges and serve with coffee.