Fig and almond biscuits
Sunday 06 June 2010
This is a Spanish sweetmeat, whose closest relative is the Tuscan cake known as panforte. It is chewy, richly chocolately and perfect to take on a picnic, as it is sturdy to carry. It is also simpler than panforte to make, taking no more than 15 minutes to prepare and 25 minutes in the oven. Allow to cool to room temperature before you slice it – if you don't, it is liable to crumble and fall apart.
130g/4oz dark chocolate, chopped
150g/5oz caster sugar
250g/8oz dried figs
400g/13oz roughly chopped, blanched almonds
160g/51/2oz plain flour
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Butter and flour
An 81/2-inch cake tin
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Gently melt the chocolate over a bowl of summering water, making sure that the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Warm until the chocolate has just melted. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a separate saucepan, spoon in the caster sugar and honey, then place over a medium heat and cook for 10 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.
Then mix the figs and almonds in a bowl. Add the flour, cocoa and cinnamon and pour over the melted chocolate and the honey-sugar mixture and mix well using a wooden spoon. It should look like a firm sticky mass.
Butter and dust a cake tin with flour, then pour in the mixture and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing. It can be kept covered in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Perfect for a picnic, this is chewy, chocolatey and sturdy
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