Prep 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
Panforte is an Italian sweet served in thin wedges. As an accompaniment to a platter of assorted Italian cheeses it can only be improved by the addition of a glass of sweet wine. Taken from Janet Fletcher's The Cheese Course, one of my favorites. Enjoy!
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1 cup unskinned almonds
- 2⁄3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 orange, zest of, grated
- 8 ounces dried figs, thinly sliced
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 2⁄3 cup honey
- 1 1⁄2 lbs gorgonzola, dolce (assorted Italian cheeses) or 1 1⁄2 lbs parmigiano-reggiano cheese (assorted Italian cheeses) or 1 1⁄2 lbs taleggio (assorted Italian cheeses)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the hazelnuts and almonds on a rimmed baking sheet until fragrant and lightly colored inside, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then chop coarsely. Reduce oven temp to 300°.
- Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-in tart pan with a removable bottom.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, fennel seed, cinnamon, cloves, and orange zest. Add the nuts and figs and stir to coat.
- In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and honey over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to medium and cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 245° on a candy thermometer, 2-3 minutes. Immediately pour over the nut mixture. Working quickly, stir until the dry ingredients are coated; the mixture will be stiff. Transfer to the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a wooden spoon dipped in cold water. Bake for 40 minutes. The mixture will still be tacky to the touch. Cool the panforte completely on a rack, then remove from the pan. Slice into 16 thin wedges. Pass the cheeses and panforte separately.