Panforte


 Prep Time : 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 24 hours | Difficulty : Moderate

Panforte

One of my favourite things about Christmas baking is that there are so many wonderful food traditions from around the world to try and share with those you love. Panforte is insanely addictive so it’s best to make it when there are lots of people around to eat it up and ultimately save you from yourself. This traditional Italian Christmas cake is packed with nuts, fruit, spices, chocolate and honey and is more akin to candy than cake.

Line the base and sides of a 6 or 7 inch round cake tin with baking paper. Butter and flour are no match for the sticky caramel. You will need a total of 200 grams of nuts and the same of fruit – choose whatever you like! A favourite combo of mine is  pistachios, almonds, figs and dried peaches. Chop the fruit and nuts roughly and put in a mixing bowl.

Panforte Ingredients

Measure the flour and spices and toss together with the fruit and nuts until all the pieces are coated and the spices evenly distributed.

Mixed Dry Ingredients

Chop the chocolate roughly and set aside – both white and dark chocolate variations are superb. Honey and sugar go into a medium saucepan. Melt over a low heat until all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Bring the caramel to the boil and cook for exactly 30 seconds before taking it straight off the heat and mixing in the chocolate. When the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth tip in the floured nuts and fruit and quickly mix until well combined. The mixture will be very sticky and require some serious stirring.

Tip the mixture into the prepared pan and press down as best you can with the mixing spoon. Very carefully using damp hands press it down so it’s nice and even.

Ready for the Oven

Bake at 170C (340F) for 20-25 minutes or until the edges start to bubble. It won’t really look done but it’s totally fine I promise. Leave the Panforte to cool completely in the tin. When it has reached room temperature it will still be a bit bendy and it’s a good time to get it out of the tin. It may require some coaxing as the caramel may have run underneath the baking paper. Use a butter knife to release it from the sides of the tin – you may need to be a little rough but the Panforte can always be pressed back into a nice round shape while it’s still pliable.

Ready to be Coated with Icing Sugar

When it has been set free from the tin, tidy up the edges with a small sharp knife and coat with icing sugar. Now you have to leave it alone for at least 24 hours so it can set up nicely.

Panforte

Thin slices are a great addition to Christmas dessert or cookie trays, or quietly enjoyed with a cup of coffee.

Panforte

Prep Time : 30 mins | Cook Time : 20 mins | Total Time : 24 hours | Difficulty : Moderate | Makes : 1 x 6-7 inch cake

An Italian Christmas classic, perfect for gifting or sharing with friends and family.

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm | 7.1 oz | 1 1/2 cups nuts of your choice
  • 200 gm | 7.1 oz | 1 1/2 loosely scooped cups dried fruit of your choice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 65 gm | 2.3 oz | 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 40 gm | 1.4 oz white or dark chocolate
  • 125 gm | 4.5 oz | 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 170 gm | 6.1 oz | 1/2 cup liquid honey
  • icing sugar for coating – about 1/4 cup

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 170C (340F). Line the base and sides of a 6 or 7 inch round cake tin with baking paper.

Chop the fruit and nuts roughly and put in a mixing bowl. Measure the flour and spices and toss together with the fruit and nuts until all the pieces are coated and the spices evenly distributed.

Chop the chocolate roughly and set aside. Melt the honey and sugar together over a low heat until all the sugar is dissolved then bring to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds exactly then remove from the heat and stir the chocolate in until smooth. Tip in the floured nuts and fruit and quickly mix until well combined. The mixture will be very sticky and require some serious stirring.

Bake at 170C (340F) for 20-25 minutes or until the edges start to bubble. Leave the Panforte to cool completely in the tin. When it has reached room temperature it will still be a bit bendy and it’s a good time to get it out of the tin. It may require some coaxing as the caramel may have run underneath the baking paper. Use a butter knife to release it from the sides of the tins – you may need to be a little rough but it can always be pressed back into a nice round shape while its still pliable. Tidy up the edges with a small sharp knife and coat with icing sugar. Leave it for 24 hours to firm up and then slice into thin wedges to serve.

Adapted from The Gisborne Herald.

© 2014 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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