Panforte is the quintessential Italian sweet treat of goodness, and perfect for your Christmas baking.
This recipe was given to me by my Aunty Margaret. I have adapted it a little to accommodate my love of pistachios and dried figs.
When making panforte, you need to be super organised and have everything ready to go before you start . . . and then you need to work quickly when mixing the dry ingredients with the wet. But please don't let this put you off. It's a great little recipe I know you will love.
Makes 20cm x 20cm slice tin with 4cm-high sides
2-4 sheets of rice paper
100g blanched almonds, lightly roasted and roughly chopped
100g hazelnuts, lightly roasted, skin removed and roughly chopped
60g pistachios, unsalted and shelled
40g dried figs, roughly chopped
50g dried apricots, roughly chopped
50g glace pineapple, roughly chopped
50g mixed peel, roughly chopped
115g plain flour, sifted
2 tbsp good-quality cocoa, sifted
1 tsp cinnamon
80g caster sugar
60g dark chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 160C and line your baking tin with baking paper. Cover the base of the tin with a sheet or two of rice paper and set aside. Put ingredients down to and including cinnamon in a clean bowl. Mix together until well combined. In a small saucepan, put sugar and honey and place over a medium heat and bring to the boil and continue to boil for 5 minutes, keeping an eye on it. Add melted chocolate to syrup and mix, then pour into fruit/flour mix.
You will need to work very quickly mixing all ingredients together as it sets super fast. Once combined, tip mix into baking tin and press down with lightly wet finger until level and smooth-ish. Cover the top of panforte with more rice paper and lightly press down. Pop into the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in tin. Once completely cool, pop in airtight container until needed.
Tip: You should get about 10 to 12 good-size pieces for gift giving. Just wrap in cellophane.