Vegan Chocolate Panforte-Style Fruit and Nut Cake

Prep Time

40 x minutes + cooling

A sticky, crunchy and sweet take on the classic Italian Christmas cake packed with dried fruits and chopped nuts. This panforte is naturally vegan and easy to make in a few steps and looks great decorated with extra chocolate, chocolate coins and icing sugar. The slices are thick, slightly chewy, slightly crumbly and slightly addictive!

Ingredients

  • 250g mixed nuts
  • 400g dried mixed fruits with peel
  • 180g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp flaky salt
  • 150g chocolate e.g. Festive Clementine Chocolate
  • 175g coconut or caster sugar
  • 175ml maple or agave syrup
  • To serve: melted chocolate, chocolate coins, icing

Method

1

1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line a 20cm round tin.

2. Roughly chop all the mixed fruit and nuts and add to a mixing bowl with the flour, cinnamon, mixed spices and salt.

3. Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie.

4. Add the sugar and syrup to a small saucepan and place over a high heat. Continue to stir until it just starts to bubble and cook for 50-60 seconds longer while it was bubbling fiercely and is frothy – be careful as it is very hot.

5. Pour the melted chocolate and sugar syrup mix over the dried fruits and nuts and working quickly, stir all together. The mix will seem dry, this is OK.

6. Tip into the prepared tin and press down firmly with your hands. Bake for 20-22 minutes until firm on top. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, remove from the tin and cool fully on a wire rack.

7. Dust with icing sugar, decorate with melted chocolate, the chocolate coins and some gingerbread biscuits, if desired.