Panforte

Panforte

By
From
The 12 Days of Christmas
Makes
2 × 25 cm round cakes
Photographer
Mark Roper

Devotees of panforte, the traditional nut and fruit cake of Siena, Italy, say this recipe is the real thing – it is rich and spicy, as it should be. Small individual ones make wonderful gifts.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g blanched almonds
250g blanched hazelnuts
310g caster sugar
310g honey
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
750g dried mixed fruits, using a mixture of currants, raisins and mixed peel
icing sugar, to dust

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lay the almonds and hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven until golden. Melt the sugar and honey together in a heavy-based saucepan over a gentle heat, then allow to boil until it reaches a temperature of 115°C on a sugar thermometer. Alternatively, test a little mixture in cold water; it should not disintegrate but flatten of its own accord when picked up with the fingers.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the flour and spices into a large bowl and add the toasted nuts and dried fruit.
  3. When the syrup has reached temperature, pour into the bowl and mix quickly and thoroughly together. Tip into 2 × 25 cm cake tins or a tin 28 × 38 cm and 2.5 cm deep (or a little larger than this) which have been lined with baking paper. Pat the mixture into the tins using hands that have been dipped in water.
  4. Bake in a 160°C oven for 45 minutes. Dust liberally with icing sugar and store in airtight containers. Cut into wedges or rectangles to serve. The flavours develop and improve with age.
Tags:
The 12 Days of Christmas
Margaret
Fulton
Christmas
Xmas
holidays
festive
party
entertaining
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