Pan de Higos

Spicy Chocolate and Fig Bread

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    1

    Loaf

Appears in

MoVida

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2007

  • About

This is more an after dessert sweetmeat than bread. It is dark, sweet, thick and dense. Pan de higos is similar to the Italian panforte but simpler and easier to make. You can slice it very thinly using a sharp bread knife and serve it with coffee.

Ingredients

  • 120 g ( oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 145 g ( oz/ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 350 g (12 oz/1 cup) honey
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) blanched almonds
  • 250 g (9 oz) whole dried figs
  • 165 g ( oz/1⅓ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 4 tablespoons good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Method

Grease and flour a 22 × 12 × 6 cm (8½ × 4½ × 2½ inch) loaf (bar) tin, tipping out any excess flour. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

Gently melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally — make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. In a separate saucepan melt the sugar and honey over low heat for 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.

Meanwhile, combine the almonds, figs, flour, cocoa and cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour the melted chocolate and the honey and sugar mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. You should end up with a stiff, slightly sticky mass. Spoon into the prepared tin and use lightly dampened hands to smooth over.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until it is dry but still yields to the touch on top. It will seem rather underdone; however the bread will continue to cook and firm up once out of the oven. Let cool in the tin for 5 minutes then run a knife around the edge and turn out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely; this will take several hours.

To serve, cut into 3 mm (⅛ inch) slices. Pan de higos can be refrigerated, unsliced and covered, for up to 2 weeks.