SATURDAY COOKING: CHOCOLATE, FIG & GINGER PANFORTE

Christmas is approaching fast and this week’s recipe has got that festive taste.
I found this recipe for CHOCOLATE, FIG & GINGER PANFORTE on Woolworth’s website and I have added a couple of things to it.
To make it work, have everything ready before you start and follow the recipe’s instructions in the right order.

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1 ½ cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spices
zest of 1 orange
1 cup blanched almonds
1 cup pistachios
200g dried figs
60g glace ginger
1 cup honey
1 cup caster sugar
100g dark melts chocolate

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160ºC. Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin.
  2. Roast the almonds. Chop coarsely the dried figs and the ginger.
  3. In a big bowl (avoid using a plastic one), sift the flour, cocoa powder and spices. Add the zest of the orange,  almonds, pistachios, dried figs and glacé ginger. Mix all together.
  4. Combine the honey and the sugar in a  saucepan and bring to the boil gently then simmer for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir through the chocolate until melted then remove from heat. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until well combined. At this stage you have to work fast because the mixture will stiffen quickly.
  5. Press the mixture into the pan. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pan before turning out and slicing.
  7. Eat!

Be careful when you cook the honey and sugar: at the boiling stage, the mixture will rise in the saucepan, keep an eye on it. Also, this is a very hot mixture, so when you add it to the dried ingredients, use a cloth to hold the bowl because it will be a bit warm.
I didn’t have enough pistachios, so I used 1/2 cup of pistachios and 1/2 cup of hazelnuts.
I don’t like honey and for me that taste was a bit too strong, so next time I will use 1/2 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of golden syrup.
You can also changed the spice mix (maybe add a bit of cardamom) and you could also add some lemon rind. And you can use any dried fruits you like.
The more you cook your panforte, the harder it will get. I cooked mine for about 40 minutes and it has a bit of chewiness to it.
This should last for a long time, kept in a plastic container away from the light.

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