Chocolate-Hazelnut Panforte (Italian Fruitcake)
The cakes can be prepared up to 1 month ahead. Store at cool room temperature.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, divided*
- 1 1/2 cups whole hazelnuts
- 1 cup whole unblanched almonds
- 1 1/2 cups lightly packed chopped dried Calimyrna figs
- 1 1/2 cups lightly packed chopped dried apricots
- 1 cup diced candied citron
- 2 tablespoons grated orange peel (orange part only)
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel (yellow part only)
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process), plus more for sprinkling tops
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 scant teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 scant teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
- 6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, melted
* Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads;
their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Brush two 8-inch round cake pans with melted butter. Line bottoms with parchment paper. Brush parchment generously with butter. Reserve remaining butter.
- Place hazelnuts on small cookie sheet; place almonds on another small cookie sheet. Toast in oven until nuts are brown and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes for almonds and 14 minutes for hazelnuts. Cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
- Gather hazelnuts in dish towel. Rub in rough towel to remove husks. Transfer hazelnuts and almonds to large bowl.
- Add figs, apricots, citron, orange peel and lemon peel.
- Combine flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, pepper and cloves in small bowl. Add to nuts and mix well.
- Combine sugar, honey and remaining melted butter in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until mixture is smooth and sugar is mostly dissolved, about 5 minutes. Bring to boil. Continue cooking until candy thermometer registers 248 degrees F (firm-ball stage). Immediately pour over nut mixture. Stir to combine.
- Divide batter between prepared pans, using back of a buttered spoon to spread evenly.
- Bake until top and edges just begin to brown and tops feel dry, about 1 1/4 hours.
- Cool slightly on wire rack. Run a small sharp knife around edges of pans to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto work surface; peel off parchment. Cool cakes completely.
- Arrange cakes top sides up on 8-inch cardboard rounds.
- Spread half the melted chocolate over each.
- Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 1 hour.
- Sprinkle tops of cakes with cocoa powder.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
Yield: two 8-inch cakes; 64 servings
Calories: 118 per 1/2-inch slice (6% from protein, 61% from carbohydrate,
33% from fat)
Protein: 1.9 grams; Total fat: 4.7 grams; Saturated fat: 1.3 grams; Cholesterol:
2 mg; Sodium: 4 mg; Carbohydrate: 19.8 grams; Fiber: 1.8 grams; Exchanges: 1/2 fruit,
1 starch, 1 fat
Source: Bon Appetit Christmas
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