Panforte meaning ‘strong bread’ is a dense, fruity loaf also known as Siena cake. The traditional spices and festive candied fruit makes it a great non-alcoholic alternative to Christmas Cake, even though it can be enjoyed year long. It is perfect to serve with coffee or dessert wine.
- 110g almonds (raw and unsalted)
- 60g macadamia nuts (raw and unsalted)
- 30g brazil nuts (raw and unsalted)
- 20g pecan nuts (raw and unsalted)
- 125g glazed cherries, chopped
- 100g candied pineapple, chopped
- grated zest of one lemon
- 75g plain flour
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 1/4 t ground coriander
- 1/4 t ground cloves
- 1/4 t grated nutmeg
- pinch of white pepper
- 150 g sugar
- 4 tbs honey
- 50g unsalted butter
- icing sugar, for dusting
- Prepare a square 20cm x 20cm dish by lining it with baking paper and spraying it with spray and cook. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
- Toast all the nuts under a hot grill, turning them so they brown on all sides. Be careful not to burn as this makes them bitter.
- Sift together all the spices and flour and mix in the nuts, zest and candied fruit in a heat-proof bowl.
- Melt the sugar, honey and butter in a saucepan and cook the syrup until it reaches 120°C on a sugar thermometer, or a little of it dropped into cold water forms a soft ball when moulded between your fingers.
- Pour the hot syrup into the nut mixture and mix fast before it begins to stiffen too much.
- Pour it into the prepared dish, smooth the surface and bake for 35 min. Time this carefully as you won’t be able to observe any change in the cake once its ready to be removed.
- Cool slightly in the tin before removing and placing on a cooling rack to cool completely. Slice while hot.
- Dust the top heavily with icing sugar.
Store in a airtight container in a cool place and it will last for weeks.