A very famous Italian cake is the Pan Forte di Siena, mentioned by William Dean Howells in his book “Tuscan Cities.” The popular name for it is “hardbake.” Every baker guards his own recipe very jealously, but here is a recipe that is used by a Sienese lady:
Boil a half pound of strained honey and add to it a cupful of blanched and shredded almonds and filberts mixed, a little candied lemon peel, a dust of pepper and powdered cinnamon and a quarter of a pound of grated chocolate. Thicken with a tablespoonful of corn flour and two of finely pulverized almonds.
Spread this mixture on sweet sugar wafers and cover them with almonds blanched and halved. Dust over with powdered sugar and cinnamon and bake in a very slow oven for an hour.