This traditional Italian Panforte recipe filled with nuts and citrus peel is bound together with honey, sugar and a delicious zing of spices. A small slice is often served with coffee and dessert in Tuscany, although it is also common to see people eating it for breakfast alongside an espresso.
1 cup hazelnuts, roasted
1 cup whole blanched almonds, roasted
¾ cup candied orange peel, diced
¾ cup candied lemon peel, diced
¼ cup cocoa
2/3 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup caster sugar
2/3 cup honey
4 tablespoons icing sugar
22 cm springform cake tin, greased and lightly dusted with cocoa
Preheat the oven to 160˚C.
Roughly chop the hazelnuts and almonds. Combine the nuts, candied peel, cocoa, flour and spices in a large bowl.
Put the sugar and honey in a small saucepan and bring to 115˚C (soft boil) on a sugar thermometer, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.
Quickly pour the honey mixture over the other ingredients and mix vigorously until well combined. Spoon into the tin and flatten as much as possible with the back of a spoon then dip your fingertips in water and press the mixture to the edges of the pan. Bake for 40 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin. Sieve all the icing sugar over the top and with a dry hand gently press the icing sugar into the top of the Panforte.
The Panforte will keep for 2-3 months, well wrapped in an airtight container. Makes 1 cake or cut into quarters as shown and individually wrap and give as a gift.
Stylist’s tip: We have decorated the top of the Panforte by placing a stencil over the icing sugar and dusting thickly with cocoa. Stencils are available at kitchenware shops and good food stores.