Panforte di Siena 

Panforte, the traditional cake of Siena, Italy

by Georgie Adamson

Dense and fruity made with nuts, candied fruit, spices, butter and honey. It looks and tastes great, easy to make and lasts well.

Heat the oven to 150 ºC or 300 ºF.
Line a cake tin with baking paper and grease well.
110g (1 cup) each of hazelnuts and almonds. Spread on a baking tray and roast lightly. When cool, smash up.
1 cup candied citrus peel
1 cup other candied fruit (pineapple, fig, ginger etc)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbs flour (it could be GF)
1 tsp cinnamon
1½ tsp of mixed spices (coriander, ground cloves etc)
1 cup sugar
4 tblsps honey
50 g butter 

Mix all the first seven ingredients together. Combine sugar, honey and butter in a small saucepan and melt. Cook gently, stirring until it is almost toffee, but watch carefully. Test a drop in a saucer of cold water. If it forms a ball, take off the heat immediately. Working quickly pour this over the bowl of mixed fruit and nuts etc and combine before it gets too stiff. Have the prepared pan ready and spread the mixture into it evenly, pressing down slightly with a spatula.
Put into a 150 ºC oven and cook for 35 minutes exactly. It may not seem set or coloured but will firm up when cooling. Place tin on a rack and allow it cool completely.
You can substitute any of the ingredients – nuts, fruit, spices … just stick to the quantities given.