A traditional Italian dessert that goes back to the 13th century. The name itself means strong bread thanks to the layer of spices, in particular pepper.
There are so many variations to this traditional sweet treat, therefore I decided to experiment by baking 3 types; one with coffee, one with chocolate and one plain. The chocolate Panforte was by far the tastiest.
There are also variations in the nuts, fruit and spices in this dessert. I opted for the ingredients that I loved and deemed would work well together.
I actually didn’t think much of this dessert when I first made it, but after having a piece the next day after the flavours had time to develop I couldn’t put the slice down.
- 100g hazelnuts
- 100g almonds
- 150g candied citrus zest (or glace zest)
- 60g dried figs
- 60g glace cherries
- ¼ tsn black pepper
- ¼ tsn ground cloves
- ½ tsn ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsn ground ginger
- 100g flour
- ¼ tsn salt
- 2 tbsn cocoa powder
- 100g dark chocolate
- 135g sugar
- 180ml honey
- Pre-heat the oven to 180c degrees and line a 25cm spring form cake tin with baking paper.
- Place the hazelnuts and almonds in a pre-heated oven on a baking tray for 6 minutes or until just raosted. Remove the almonds.
- Allow the hazelnuts to roast for 5 more minutes then place the hazelnuts in a dishtowel.
- Rub the hazelnuts in the towel to remove the skin.
- Coarsely chop up the nuts.
- Chop up the dried figs and glace cherries.
- Turn the oven down to 150c degrees.
- Stir the nuts, zest, figs, cherries, spices, flour, salt and cocoa powder until well combine.
- Place the dark chocolate in a bowl and on a low level heat the chocolate for 1 minute in the microwave. Stir then continue in 20 sec intervals until the chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool.
- Combine the chocolate to the nut mix.
- Bring sugar and honey to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Then boil without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 120c degrees.
- Immediately pour honey over the fruit mixture and quickly stir until combined (mixture will be very thick and sticky).
- Spoon mixture into the tin and spread evenly with back of a wet spoon.
- Dampen your hands and press mixture firmly and evenly to compact as much as possible.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until edges start to rise slightly and the top is bubbling.
- Cool panforte completely in the cake tin on a cooling rack.
- Once cooled remove from the tin, remove the baking paper, dust with icing sugar and cut into slices.
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