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
Preheat oven to slow, 150 C. Lightly spray and line base and sides of a 20 cm springform pan.
In a large bowl, combine dates, cherries, nuts, chocolate, spice, pepper and zest.
In 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.
Bring to a boil and cook 3 to 5 mins until a little dropped into cold water forms a soft ball when moulded between fingers.
Working quickly, pour caramel over nut mixture, mixing well. Pour into pan. Smooth top with a spatula. Bake 10 to 15 mins. Allow to cool.
If the mixture has not set, place in fridge. Cut into small wedges and serve with coffee.
TIP: Remove skin from hazelnuts by roasting in a moderate oven, 180 C, 5 to 10 mins. Pour into a clean tea towel, wrap up and rub – skins will peel away. Use any combination of nuts you like. Other glazed fruits can be used.
Photo: Rodney Macuja/Bauer