About this recipe: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!
100g dark chocolate, broken
100g toasted flaked almonds or chopped hazelnuts
200g luxury mixed dried fruit
100g ready-to-eat dried figs, chopped
100g ground almonds
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp clear honey
icing sugar, for dredging
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:5min › Ready in:25min
Melt the chocolate: Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Add the broken chocolate and leave to melt, stirring occasionally. Put a 23cm shallow round cake tin in the freezer. In a large bowl, mix together the flaked almonds or hazelnuts, mixed dried fruit, figs, almonds, coriander and cinnamon.
Combine the ingredients: Pour the melted chocolate over the fruit mixture. Add the honey and mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Fill the tin: Lay a large piece of cling film in the cake tin and press it in to line the tin, leaving the excess overhanging the rim. Turn the mixture into the tin and press it down a little, then cover with the overhanging cling film and press it out evenly with the heel of your hand until fairly smooth on top.
Chill and serve: Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the mixture has firmed up a little. Uncover the cake and turn it out on to a platter. Remove the cling film, dredge generously with icing sugar and cut into 12 wedges to serve.
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.