Panforte - fruit and nut cake

This is my take on the festive Italian cake Panforte. Spices, figs and whole hazelnuts make this a seemingly decadent yet wonderfully healthy sweet treat. It is a great alternative to the usual holiday cakes which can result in us spending most of January in the gym! Enjoy this after your meal with an espresso or a long black coffee.

Makes 12 slices

150g hazelnuts

60g tapioca flour

60g rice flour

60g oat flour

150g dried figs, hard tips removed

9T water

9T brown rice syrup

3 cardamom pod, crushed in a pestle and mortar or use pre-ground

3 pinches of ground cinnamon

A grating of fresh nutmeg


Heat your oven to 200c.

Put the hazelnuts on a baking tray and bake for around 10 minutes until most of the skins are darkened and starting to come away from the nut.

Cool until you can handle them.

Grab a handful, clasp your hands together flat with the nuts between your palms and rub until most of the skins come off the nuts. Don't worry if you can't get all of the skin off.

In a bowl mix the flours.

In a blender blitz the dogs with the water so you have a gooey paste. Add this to the bowl.

Add the syrup and spices to the bowl and mix well. Add the whole hazelnuts, mix again and spoon into a small loaf tin.

Bake for around 30 minutes until firm.

Allow to cool and then cut with a serrated knife.