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Italian Panforte

Panforte is a fruity, nutty, chewy, sweet little number from Tuscany, literally meaning 'strong bread'. It’s been around some 800 years and used to be used as currency to pay the monks of the local monastery when they demanded tax on the seventh of February each year.

With a puff of icing sugar and all wrapped up, this is a beautiful and festive homemade gift.


Recipe

Ingredients

  • Blanched hazelnuts – 90g/3oz
  • Blanched almonds – 90g/3oz
  • Candied peel (lemon, orange and lime) – 200g/7oz
  • Plain flour – 60g/2oz
  • Cocoa powder – 25g/1oz
  • Ground cinnamon, clove and nutmeg – a big pinch of each
  • Caster sugar – 150g/5.3oz
  • Clear honey – 125g/5.3oz
Blanched hazelnuts – 90g/3oz Blanched almonds – 90g/3oz Candied peel (lemon, orange and lime) – 200g/7oz Plain flour – 60g/2oz Cocoa powder – 25g/1oz Ground cinnamon, clove and nutmeg – a big pinch of each Caster sugar – 150g/5.3oz Clear honey – 125g/5.3oz

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C/300ºF. Butter and line an 8-inch flan ring tray with parchment paper or bake-o-glide.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the nuts, candied peel, the sifted flour, cocoa and spices. Mix well together.
  3. Put the sugar and honey in a saucepan, turn on to a medium heat, stirring as the sugar melts. When it starts to boil (about 8-10mins) take it off the heat.
  4. Working quickly, pour the syrup over your nut mixture, and mix it thoroughly.
  5. The panforte will stiffen quickly, so immediately spoon the mixture into your baking tray and spread it out evenly.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes then tunr it onto a wire rack, peel off the paper and take it out and let it completely cool. Wrap and store at room temperature.