Wednesday, 5 August 2015


I know I know, this is technically festive fare but I just fancied having a crack at this Italian treat over the weekend. Even in the summer months, it's a delicious little accompaniment to tea or coffee, all soft and chewy, with biscuity toasted nuts and the merest hint of spice. Don't be put off if you're not a fan of soft figs as they melt into the mixture during baking, but try and avoid using fresh ones if you can. So, now it's your turn!

Prep time: 25 Mins
Baking time: 30 Mins
300g Mixed Nuts (I used Hazelnuts, Macadamias and Pecans)
175g Mixed Peel
50g Glacé Cherries (Halved)
75g Plain Flour
200g Soft Figs
75g Runny Honey
165g Caster Sugar
1.5tsp Mixed Spice
A splash of Booze (Sherry, Manzanilla, Pedro Ximinez etc)
Icing Sugar (To dust)

Let us begin. In a dry saucepan lightly toast the nuts, before setting to one side for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and line a 21cm square tin with baking paper (you could use rice paper but it can be tricky to find). In a large bowl mix the warm nuts together with the peel, cherries and flour. Smush up the figs, either in a food processor or with a large knife then add to a saucepan along with the honey, sugar, spice and booze. Bring up to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and leave for around 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the fig mixture over the dry ingredients, mix to combine then pour into your prepared tin. Press firmly to the edges with a wooden spoon (you want to compact the mixture as much as you can), then bake in the centre of the oven for around 30 minutes. Remove and leave to cool in the tin.

When the mixture is cool place in the fridge for around 30 minutes. I do this as it makes it easier to slice in a warm kitchen. Remove from the fridge, peeling off the paper then dust liberally with icing sugar. Slice thinly with a sharp knife and you're all finished. Huzzah!

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