Ciao! Let’s go down the Italian path today, haha. It was only until recently that I got to know about this little gem, and am I happy?! Panforte (pronounced as PAAN-FOR-TE) is a traditional Italian Christmas dessert which is a cross between a fruitcake and Lebkuchen (honey cakes). It’s a mildly spiced cake with loads of fruits and nuts, aka perfect for Christmas! The texture is almost candy-like with a chewy soft centre. It’s a ridiculously easy dessert and oh SO good! This is the best thing I’ve eaten all week. Yes, it’s that good!
I stumbled upon this gem of a dessert randomly a few days ago and I just couldn’t wait to try this one. It’s been a pretty hectic week and I haven’t had the time to really sit and work on my blog or bake so much. Thankfully, this bad boy is super quick and easy to make, with no advance preparation. I obviously tweaked the original recipe to suit my healthy requirements. I cannot emphasise enough on just how good this cake tastes! I’m not usually a binger, but I cannot stop with this one, especially when it’s packed with all the rich goodness. I have used a generous splash of fort wine here, because why not? That’s just the Italian way. 😛 It’s like the cake of my dreams!
Make this cake NOW and you shall thank me later. Till then, felice cottura! ❤
Recipe adaptation: BBC Good Food
MAKES: 8 slices (5″)
- 150 gms nuts of your choice (I used a mix of pistachios and almonds)
- 25 gms candied peel
- 120 gms dried fruits (I used a mix of dates and apricots)
- 25 gms multigrain flour
- 40 gms honey
- 50 gms coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp fort wine (Sherry, brandy or marsala works)
- icing sugar, for dusting
- Grease a 5″ round tin with butter and line with baking paper. Keep aside.
- Toast the nuts in a dry pan and add to a bowl. Chop and stir in the candied peel along with the flour.
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC.
- Blitz the apricots and dates in a food processor, then transfer to a saucepan with the fort wine, honey and coconut sugar. Add in the cardamom seeds, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 2-4 minutes on low heat, then pour onto the nut mixture. Mix well.
- Spoon into the tin and bake for 30 minutes. The top will be soft but not sticky.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
- Thinly slice and dust with icing sugar, then serve with espresso! Buon appetito!
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