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Pan Forte di Siena

2/3 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel
1/2 cup chopped candied lemon peel
1/4 cup dutch-process cocoa
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
confectioner's (icing) sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter an 8-inch cake pan, line it with
parchment paper, and butter the paper. Spread the hazelnuts on a
baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 325 F. Chop the hazelnuts
coarsely with the almonds. Put the nuts in a bowl and add the
candied peels, cocoa, flour, and spices; mix well. Set aside. In
a saucepan, combine the sugar and honey and cook, stirring with a
wooden spoon, until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a
boil and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until a bit of
the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped in cold water. Add to
the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared
cake pan. Spread the batter evenly in the pan; the cake will be
no more than about 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 25 minutes, or until
firm to the touch. While still warm, invert the cake onto a wire
rack. Carefully peel off the parchment and let cool completely.
Sprinkle the top of the cake generously with confectioner's sugar.
Serve cut in thin wedges.

Note: I find using a well greased ceramic pie dish eliminates the
need for parchment. This cake will keep for at least 2 weeks if
well wrapped in foil.


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