Panforte, is a Christmas fruit cake which comes from Siena, Italy. It is similar to a traditional fruit cake but is chewy not crumbly – leading to the arguments as to if this is a cake or a candy… But considering the gorgeous texture and taste – who cares what it is classed as?
- 250g dried fruit, chopped (see below)
- 1/2 cup (120g) brown sugar
- 2 tbs honey
- 1 cup (250ml) water
- 100g dark chocolate, chopped
- 150g nuts, chopped (see below)
- 1/4 cup (50g) plain flour
- 1/2 tbs ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tbs ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tbs gound ginger
- 1/4 tbs gound cardamom
- 1/4 tbs ground cloves
The dried fruit and nuts that you use can vary depending on your tastes. There are several versions of Panforte – but the most common uses roasted Almonds, Hazelnuts and Pine Nuts with Dried Figs, Dates and Sultanas. You could try Dried Apricots, Cranberries, Plums, Pistachios… Whatever suits your taste buds. The nuts are better roasted – to do this yourself place the nuts onto a lined baking tray and place in a preheated over at 180ºC for 6 – 8 minutes.
Preheat oven to 150ºC. Line the base of a 20cm spring form round cake pan or tart pan with baking paper.
Place dried fruit, brown sugar, honey and water into a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 10 minutes until mixture thickens (similar to jam).
Add the chocolate and stir until melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the nuts, flour and all the spices to the syrup mixture and stir well to combine. Transfer to the lined pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 30 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and dust with icing sugar while still hot. Leave in the pan until fully cool.
Once cool remove from the pan and enjoy!