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Panforte, Italian Chocolate, Fruit and Nut Cake

This makes the perfect Christmas present, either as a generous whole pie or cut into slices. Also a great one to have at home for any pop in to nibble with coffee or as a dessert with a sticky wine - it goes a long way and lasts a long time.

Is easy to make once the chopping is done, that is the main effort - and buying all the ingredients of course. Based on a recipe from the morning Fresh show when it used to air - Chelsey Davies.
Pictured: Panforte

4 sheets rice paper
200g whole almonds, chopped
150g hazelnuts, toasted and peeled, chopped
100g shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped
100g mixed peel
100g dried figs, chopped
150g pitted prunes, chopped
100g dried apricots, chopped
100g dark chocolate, chopped finely
2 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp ground cloves
½ cup (75g) plain flour
½ cup honey
¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
2 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Line base of a 22cm round cake tin with 1 - 2 sheets rice paper cut to fit.

Combine almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, mixed peel, figs, prunes, apricots and chocolate in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine cocoa, spices and flour. Sift this mixture over the fruit and nut mixture; stir well to combine.

Combine honey, sugar and water in a small saucepan over a gentle heat; stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Pour over fruit and nut mix and stir well to combine. Scrape mixture into prepared tin; smooth out the surface.

Trim remaining rice paper to fit over the surface of the panforte; press onto the surface.

Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes.

Cool in tin before cutting into quarters and wrapping in a double layer of glad bake and foil to store.

Cut into thin slices to serve. Serve with coffee or dessert wine.

Makes one large cake

Tasting notes – the dark chocolate and hint of clove stand out first, followed by the lovely varying nuts and fruit. Thin slice it to make it go far and savour each bite