This mix-and-chill take on an Italian panforte – a wonderful mix of baked fruit, nuts, honey and spice – is the fastest-ever way to make an uncooked cake and is irresistible with coffee or liqueurs. Delicious!
Instead of figs, ground almonds, coriander, cinnamon and honey, put 200g petit beurre biscuits in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin, then add them to the fruit and nut mixture with 100g roughly chopped glacé cherries. Stir in 2 tbsp orange juice before mixing in the chocolate.
Spiced fruit and nut cake with mascarpone and cherries: Make some mock maraschino cherries - put 12 glacé cherries in a cup or mug. Pour on 4 tbsp vodka and 1/4 tsp almond extract. Stir, cover and set aside while you make the cake. Shape and chill the cake mixture as for the basic recipe. To serve, drain the cherries, reserving the almond vodka. Stir the liquid into 200g mascarpone with 1 tsp icing sugar. Top each wedge with a dollop of mascarpone and a cherry.