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
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
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.
The cakes can be prepared up to 1 month ahead. Store at cool room temperature.
Makes two 8-inch cakes, 64 servings.
* Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads;
their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.
Calories: 118 per 1/2-inch slice (6% from protein, 61% from carbohydrate,
33% from fat)