Saturday, December 11, 2010
At this time of year I love to pull out my (growing) pile of Christmas Cook Books and Cooking Magazines - I'm not really sure why because Christmas is the one time of the year when I cook primarily the old tried and tested recipes - but I can always be inspired. During this years "Mega Cookbook Fest" I realized that I have never made Panforte (I've never actually tasted it for that matter), so I have decided to rectify this.
I wasn't completely grabbed by any of the recipes I have, they all have good elements, so I decided to pick the best bits, add one or two ideas of my own, and hay presto ..... I present to you Brownieville Panforte!! (with sincere apologies to all Italian readers!)
I decided that some cranberries were needed in there, for colour as well as for their welcome tartness. A small glug of alcohol is nicely seasonal, I thought the chocolate covered candied orange was a great idea (borrowed) and of course you have to have a bit of cocoa in there.
The end result is like a Christmas flavoured, nutty, fruity toffee - can't be bad!
I am submitting this recipe to The Most Wanted Yule Blog Bake Off, and they have asked for step by step photos ( made me way more organised than usual!)
I started off by toasting the hazelnuts, although I only used 125g in the Panforte, I always toast a whole bag full and store any left over in the freezer - handy for next time!
Combine the blanched almonds, chocolate covered candied peel, figs, hazelnuts and cranberries.
Put butter, honey and sugar together into a small pan on a medium heat. Allow to bubble away nicely for 3 -4 minutes.
All the ingredients in waiting!
Add the flour, cocoa and spices to the fruit and nut mixture.
Pour the butter, honey and sugar bubbling mixture into the nut and fruit and stir well.
Press firmly into am 8"/20cm baking tin which you have lined with baking paper and buttered well (this is really important as it is such a sticky mixture)
I tried making a snowflake template to decorate the cake, showing you why my only creative outlet is cooking!!!
125g blanched almonds
125g hazelnuts (roasted and skinned)
150g chocolate covered candied orange*
50g chopped figs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp mixed spice
Pinch white pepper
2 tbsp sherry (or orange liqueur)
70g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa
150g sugar (I used golden caster sugar)
Prepare an 8"/20 cm tin with parchment paper and plenty of butter
Preheat the oven to 170 C
Combine the nuts and fruits in a bowl.
Add the flour, cocoa and spices and mix well.
Bring the butter, honey and sugar to a bubble in a small saucepan on a medium heat.
Allow to bubble away for a few minutes.
Add this hot mixture to the fruit and nuts and stir well.
Now add the alcohol and stir again you will need your hands towards the end of mixing.
Press firmly into the prepared tin.
Bake for about 30 minutes - it is ready when the top of the cake starts to bubble.
Allow the cake to cook completely in the tin.
Decorate with icing sugar.
It will keep for a good while if kept in an airtight tin.
*Any candied fruit/peed would be fine
This is my entry for the Most Wanted Yule Blog Bake Off Challenge which is being held by vouchercodes.co.uk.