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This delicious confection/cake, native to Sienna in Italy, can easily be made at home.
150g/5oz Blanched Almond
- 110g/4oz Pecan nuts or Walnut pieces
- 150g/5oz large, soft, ready-to-eat Figs
- 95g/3½oz Dried Apricots
- 95g/3½oz Candied Peel, chopped
- 75g/3oz Seedless Raisins
- the grated zest of half an Orange
- 2 level tablespoons Cocoa Powder
- 1 level teaspoon (3ml) Dried Cinnamon
- 1 level teaspoon Mixed Spice
- 175g/6oz Clear Honey
- 75g/3oz Golden Caster Sugar
- 75g/3oz '00' or Plain Flour
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) Icing Sugar, to serve
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) Cinnamon, to serve
Equipment needed: A 20cm/8 ins loose-bottomed cake tin, lightly-greased, and lined with non-stick baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350º/Gas 4.
- Put the nuts onto a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 7-8 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Set aside to cool.
- Cut the figs and apricots into small pieces and place in a bowl with the candied ginger, raisins and orange zest.
- Sift over the cocoa powder, cinnamon and mixed spice and add them to the dried fruit mixture.
- Measure the honey and sugar into a saucepan and dissolve over a low heat, stirring occasionally, and cook gently for 8-10 minutes until the mixture is sticky.
- Pour it over the dried fruit and nuts, tip in the flour and quickly mix together with a wooden spoon until amalgamated.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, pressing it down well.
- Have a bowl of hot water ready, and smooth over the top with a palate knife -dipping it into the water from time to time so it doesn't stick.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is just set.
- Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for about 15 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack.
- When the cake is cool enough to handle, turn it the right way up and peel off the excess paper.
- When completely cold, wrap in baking parchment and foil and keep for a few days before eating.
Serve with the icing sugar and cinnamon sifted over. Very good with Port.