March 1, 2023

Make your own panforte

A Christmas must-have in some households, whip up this panforte and keep the tradition alive.

makes 1 large or 4 small

150g blanched almonds
150g hazelnuts
1 cup mixed peel
2 cups mixed candied fruit
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp black pepper
pinch of salt
100g plain flour
130g caster sugar
230g honey
30g butter
icing sugar to garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 150C. Line a 20cm springform cake tin (or 4x 10cm tins) with baking paper. Roast the hazelnuts for 8 minutes, wrap in a tea towel and rub to remove the skins. Meanwhile roast the almonds for 12 minutes or until golden. Roast the hazelnuts a little longer, if required, until golden. Allow the nuts to cool slightly before roughly chopping and placing into a large bowl. Roughly chop the mixed candied fruit and place in the bowl. Add the mixed peel, spices, salt and flour and stir well to combine. Place the sugar, honey and butter into a small saucepan, bring to the boil over medium heat and swirl to dissolve the sugar. Boil until a candy thermometer registers 118C. Pour over the ingredients in the bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon to combine. While warm, quickly transfer the mixture to the pan (or pans) and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake the large panforte for 45-50 minutes and the small for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before using a spatula to loosen the edges, removing from the tin and placing onto a wire rack. Traditionally, panforte is liberally dusted with icing sugar. However, this camouflages the jewelled tones of the fruit, which are quite beautiful (and the cake is quite sweet already), so this step is personal preference.

Wrap in wax paper and store in a sealed container at room temperature.


This article first appeared in the December 2022 issue of SALIFE magazine.

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