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Hazelnut Date Panforte

1 1/4 cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted and cooled
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup dried figs, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup candied orange peel or pineapple, diced
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 300 F. Butter a round 8-inch cake pan (or springform
pan). Line the bottom with parchment paper, and generously grease
the parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the first ten
ingredients (hazelnuts through orange zest).

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar,
honey, orange juice and butter. Heat, stirring until the sugar
dissolves, about three minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high.
Boil without stirring until a candy thermometer registers 250
degrees F, about five minutes. Remove from the heat and stir into
the fruit mixture. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan,
pushing it to the sides with a wooden spoon.

Bake until the top feels dry, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a rack
and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Invert onto the rack;
peel off parchment. Let cool completely.

Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler and melt until
smooth. Pour half of the chocolate over the top of the cake; smooth
it with an icing spatula. Refrigerate until set (about one hour).

Repeat on other side of cake. Refrigerate again until set. Before
serving, dust with sifted cocoa powder.


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