Panforte Cake Recipe
Makes one 8-inch cake and serves 8.
3/4 cup almonds
1 ½ tablespoons baking soda
½ cup hazelnuts
1 ¼ cups dried figs, chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
½ cup honey
¼ cup sugar
Preheat an oven to 375F. Butter an 8-inch round cakepan and line the bottom with parchment cut to fit precisely.
Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In the meantime, in a saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the baking soda and add the hazelnuts in a saucepan. Don’t be surprised when the water turns dark brown. Boil for 3 minutes. After three minutes, using a slotted spoon, remove the hazelnuts from the boiling water and add them to a bowl of ice water. Using your fingers, peel the skins. If the skins don’t come off, boil the nuts for 1 to 2 minutes longer and peel. Dry the nuts with paper towels and place on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until fragrant and light golden about 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
Place the almonds and hazelnuts on the work surface, coarsely chop and place in a large bowl. Reduce the oven to 350F.
Add the chopped dried figs, flour, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, nutmeg, allspice and pepper to the nuts and mix well.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey and sugar and heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts, about 3 minutes. Add this mixture into the nut mixture, mixing well.
Transfer the batter to a prepared pan and with wet hands, press the mixture evenly into the pan.
Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and invert the pan onto a cooling rack. Lift off the pan and when cool, remove the parchment paper.
Place on a platter and dust the top liberally with confectioners’ sugar.