Panforte, or panepepato, is a typical Tuscan Christmas cake. The first written evidence of panforte dates back to the year 1000, when it was called Pane Natalizio (Christmas Bread). This cake were made by spice sellers, who were the pharmacists of the day, and was only prepared for local aristocrats, the very rich and the clergy as it contained ingredients like orange, citrus, melon, almonds and expensive spices.
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Serves: 10 to 12
- 80g flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground star anise
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g figs, chopped
- 100g hazelnuts
- 150g almonds
- 100g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 orange, zested
- 150g castor sugar
- 150g honey
- 50g water
- icing sugar to dust
- Preheat the oven to 150ºC bake. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
- Sift the flour, cinnamon and star anise. Add the figs, nuts, chocolate, orange zest and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
- Place the sugar, honey and water in a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil about 10-15 minutes, until the mixer begin to thick.
- Immediately pour the sugar mixture over the flour mixture and mix quickly with a wooden spoon until well combine.
- Quickly spoon out the mixture into the greased tin and bake for 15 minutes.
- Cool well before taking out of the pan.
- Sprinkle generously with icing sugar.
- Store in an airtight container.