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Recipe for cooking chocolate hazelnut panforte

Recipes from Italy :: Italian Desserts


Source: Bon Appetit Christmas

1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted, divided*
1 1/2 (one and one-half) c. whole hazelnuts
1 c. whole unblanched almonds
1 1/2 (one and one-half) c. lightly packed chopped dried Calimyrna figs
1 1/2 (one and one-half) c. lightly packed chopped dried apricots
1 c. diced candied citron
2 Tbsp. grated orange peel (orange part only)
1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel (yellow part only)
3/4 c. unbleached flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably
    Dutch-process), plus more for sprinkling tops
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 scant tsp. ground nutmeg
1 scant tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. honey
6 oz. bittersweet (not unsweetened) or
    semisweet chocolate, melted

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Brush two 8-in. round cake pans with melted butter. Line bottoms with parchment paper. Brush parchment generously with butter. Reserve remaining butter.

Place hazelnuts on small cookie sheet; place almonds on another small cookie sheet. Toast in oven until nuts are brown and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 10 mins. for almonds and 14 mins. for hazelnuts. Cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees fahrenheit.

Gather hazelnuts in dish towel. Rub in rough towel to remove husks. Transfer hazelnuts and almonds to large bowl. Add figs, apricots, citron, orange peel and lemon peel.

Combine flour, 3/4 c. cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, pepper and cloves in small bowl. Add to nuts and mix well.

Combine sugar, honey and remaining melted butter in a heavy med. saucepan. Stir over med. heat until mixture is smooth and sugar is mostly dissolved, about 5 mins. Bring to boil. Continue cooking until candy thermometer registers 248 degrees fahrenheit (firm-ball stage). Immediately pour over nut mixture. Stir to combine.

Divide batter between prepared pans, using back of a buttered spoon to spread in an even way. Bake until top and edges just begin to brown and tops feel dry, about 1 1/4 hours.

Cool slightly on wire rack. Run a small sharp knife around edges of pans to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto work surface; peel off parchment. Cool cakes completely.

Arrange cakes top sides up on 8-in. cardboard rounds. Spread half the melted chocolate over each. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 1 hour.

Sprinkle and distribute tops of cakes with cocoa powder. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

The cakes can be prepared up to 1 month ahead. Store at cool room temperature. Makes two 8-in. cakes, 64 servings.

* Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.

Calories: 118 per 1/2-in. slice (6% from protein, 61% from carbohydrate, 33% from fat)

Protein: 1.9 grams; Total fat: 4.7 grams; Saturated fat: 1.3 grams; Cholesterol: 2 mg; Sodium: 4 mg; Carbohydrate: 19.8 grams; Fiber: 1.8 grams

Exchanges: 1/2 fruit, 1 starch, 1 fat

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