Great British Bake Off 2018 finalist Ruby Bhogal has created a fabulous recipe for California Walnuts.
Walnuts have long been considered synonymous with Christmastime, and Ruby’s indulgent Chocolate, Walnut & Apricot Panforte is a rich, crunchy sweet treat that’s perfect for the season. It takes a little time to prepare but be patient – it’s totally worth it!
Preparation time: 40min + 4hrs soaking and 2hrs cooling
Cooking time: 55min
- 150g California walnuts, roughly chopped
- 150g chopped dried apricots
- 100g chopped dates
- 100g mixed peel
- 100g dark chocolate
- 75g plain flour
- 2tbsp cocoa powder
- 1tsp allspice
- 1tsp cinnamon powder
- 1tsp vanilla bean paste
- 155g honey
- 100g golden syrup
- 70g unsalted butter, diced
- 50g light brown sugar
- amaretto liqueur, to soak
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- Place the chopped apricots and dates in a bowl and pour in enough amaretto liqueur to cover. Allow to soak for approx 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 140°C/Fan 120°C. Lightly grease and line a 20cm (8in) springform tin. Leave to one side.
- Place the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. Once it’s melted fully, take off the heat and allow to cool lightly.
- In another bowl, sift the plain flour, cocoa, allspice and cinnamon and stir. Add the Californian walnuts, mixed peel and vanilla bean paste and stir again.
- Drain the amaretto-soaked apricots and dates (but be sure to keep the remaining drained liqueur for later!). Add into the bowl and mix well.
- Into a saucepan add the honey, golden syrup, diced butter and sugar and place over a high heat. Once the butter and sugar have melted, bring to the boil for approx 5min or until it has reached 118°C (the ‘soft ball’ stage) on a thermometer.
- Take off the heat and gently pour into the bowl of mixed flour and fruit. Stir well. Add in the cooled melted chocolate and fold in until combined.
- Pour the mixture into the lined tin and level with a spatula. Pop into the oven for approx 50min on a middle shelf.
- Remove from the oven, place the tin on a cooling rack and allow to chill completely before removing (2 hours should be good!). Gently remove from the tin.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush some of the drained liqueur over the top, then dust with a sprinkling of icing sugar to finish. Enjoy!