Nicer than Christmas Cake!
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Panforte is a traditional spiced cake from Siena in Tuscany, which is often consumed at Christmas and other special occasions. It comes in two varieties:
White - the top is sprinkled with sugar
The white sort is often called 'Panforte Margherita' and was so named in honour of the visit to Siena of Queen Margherita of Savoy in 1879. It is this variety which is most commonly seen today and is the subject of this recipe.
- 50g clear honey, preferably Italian wildflower (millefiori)
- 230g muscovado sugar
- 140g plain flour
- 230g whole almonds, unpeeled
- 350g candied peel
- 3 oranges, zest only, grated
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 70ml water
- Rice paper, for lining the bottom of the cake tin
- icing sugar for dusting
- Pre-heat the oven to 170° C (gas 3), [fan oven 150° C]
- Lin the base of a 20cm / 8in cake tin with rice paper.
- Line the sides with greaseproof paper and grease with butter or groundnut oil (Vegans) or use Bake-O-Glide.
- In a large pan, melt the honey and sugar over a medium heat - do not allow to burn.
- In a bowl, mix all of the remaining ingredients, except the water and icing sugar.
- Once the mixture in the saucepan is bubbling, stir in the fruit mixture and the water.
- Carry on cooking until the mixture takes on a slightly sticky texture.
- Pour into the cake tin and bake for about 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool and dust with sifted icing sugar.
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