Fancy trying a fruit rich dessert for Christmas that different to mince pies, Christmas pudding or Christmas cake, then how about an Italian Panforte Recipe? Not traditionally only eaten at Christmas but with so many of the ingredients echo lots of Christmas flavours it makes the ideal substitute for something different this year. A dense chewy dessert studded with plenty of pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, glacé pineapple, peel and cherries with warming spices. Think of a classy giant florentine but with a hint of cocoa and a lot of chew.
Having gone to the home of panforte in Siena, Italy on holiday many years ago, we can come with suitcases laden with panforte and since then my mum has requested one to be made every year. Because it’s not sponge based, it doesn’t dry out and keeps really well. This makes a great edible gift for friends and family for Christmas if you wrap it up tightly then it will last for two weeks.
You wouldn’t have a big wedge of it like you would a sponge cake, but a thin slice to go with strong coffee or dessert wine. With all the fruit and nuts it could also be an interesting addition to a cheeseboard.
When you add the syrup to the nut mixture, you need to work quickly or it will stiffen too quickly to get it into the tin and level out.Print
- 100g Almonds, whole, blanched and roasted
- 100g Hazelnuts, roasted and skinned
- 100g Pistachio, whole and roasted
- 100g Glacé Pineapple, chopped
- 95g Mixed Peel, chopped
- 50g Glacé Cherries, chopped
- 30g Cocoa Powder
- 60g Plain Flour
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Mixed Spice
- 90g Caster Sugar
- 115g Honey
- Edible Rice Paper
- Icing Sugar, for dusting
- Oven to 150C. Line a 20cm round tin, the base with edible rice paper and the line the sides with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Put the nuts in a bowl with the pineapple, mixed peel, cherries, cocoa powder, flour and spices and make sure everything is well mixed.
- Put the sugar and honey in a saucepan and melt together over low heat. Cook until the colour turns from golden to brown.
- Working quickly, pour the syrup over the nut mixture and mix quickly before it stiffens up. Spoon straight into the tin, using slightly damp hands, press into the tin to make a level top. Bake for 35 minutes. It will firm upon cooling.
- Once cool, remove from the tin, removing the parchment collar and discard. Dust the top with lots of icing sugar. Will keep for 2 weeks in an air tight container.
- Category: Dessert, Chocolate, Christmas
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian
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