Panforte recipe


Panforte is a traditional Italian dessert containing fruits and nuts. The name literally means ‘strong bread’ and refers to its spicy and strong flavour. This traditional desert dates back to at least 1205 when it was used a tax payment to monks and nuns. If only we could pay our taxes with baking still!

Panforte will add a sense of class to your Christmas gatherings and you can impress your guests with your historically important baking!


5 tablespoons (40g) Dutch cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups (325g) mixed nuts eg. pistachio, almonds, macadamias, toasted and very coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (110g) flour
1 cup (200g) chopped candied citron or quality mixed candied fruit
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
pinch of grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
85g dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup (200g) honey
1cup (200g) sugar
extra cocoa powder for dusting
powdered sugar for dusting



1. Preheat the oven to 165°C
2. Line the bottom of a 22-23cm springform pan with baking paper. Spray the pan with nonstick spray and dust the inside, including the sides, with cocoa powder
3. In a large bowl, mix the cocoa powder, nuts, flour, candied fruits, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, nutmeg and chilli
4. Melt the chocolate then stir it into the nut mixture
5. Heat the sugar and honey in a pan with a thermometer until the temperature reaches 115°C
6. Pour the hot honey syrup over the nut mixture and mix together well. Scrape combined ingredients into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula
7. Bake the panforte for 35-40 minutes, the centre will feel soft and when you touch it your finger should come away clean when it’s done. Be careful not to overcook it or it will be too firm. Let the panforte cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Gently loosen it from the pan with the help of a knife around the sides if needed. Remove the springform carefully then let cool completely.
Once cool, remove the bottom of the springform and peel away the paper. Sprinkle the panforte with powdered sugar.


16 servings


Panforte can be kept for several months at room temperature if well wrapped.


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