As with pretty much everything in life I am always three steps behind where I had planned to be and that can also be applied to my Christmas baking and more importantly to you guys my Christmas recipe blogging. I am currently sat at the dining room table in my childhood family home writing up this post, drinking a large mug of homemade mulled wine and eating a slice of this Gluten Free Vegan Italian Chocolate Panforte. I am so behind on everything!!!
Busy time of year.
Like everyone, I am just so busy at this time of the year. Both my sister and I are shift-workers with in-law families to please as well as our own. When my sister had her Son, we came up with a plan that in early December we would both take a little time off from work return home to Plymouth and my mum and dad would then have an early Christmas for us. The full works, a full Christmas dinner, Christmas pudding and of course mulled wine! This year I brought along this gluten-free vegan Italian chocolate panforte and a more traditional Italian panforte, which will be coming to the blog very soon. I promise 😉
Gluten Free & Vegan.
So let’s get on with this gluten-free vegan chocolate Italian panforte, shall we? And I will stop my complaining. Traditionally panforte is made with honey (lots of it) fruit, nuts, spices and a touch of flour to bring it all together.
To make this gluten-free I simply swapped out the flour for white rice flour. This is what I had on hand for a gluten-free option. I should imagine any gluten-free flour can be used. The amount is pretty small and is used more as a binder then for any structural purposes. So I imagine if you have a favourite gluten-free flour you would be good to use that one.
To make this vegan I simply swapped out the honey for sweet light agave nectar. The only other thing to watch out for is the sweet fortified wine that I added. I must admit it did take some hunting for me to find a vegan fortified wine but I did it. If you are not sure and are wanting to make this for someone else, then just simply replace it with fruit juice. Better to be safe than sorry.
The rest of it.
Everything else in this gluten free vegan chocolate Italian panforte is super simple and easy to come by. I used a combination of pistachios, hazelnuts and cashews for the nuts. For the dried fruits I used a mix of candied citrus peel, figs and apricots. I felt these three had a more Mediterranean feel to them then some of the other dried fruits available.
Don’t need it GF & Vegan.
If you fancy making this recipe but don’t follow a gluten-free or vegan diet then it is easy to swap the ingredients about. Regular plain / all purpose flour can be used and honey can replace the agave nectar and you won’t need to give any special considerations to the dessert wine used.
Hopefully, the next few weeks will calm down and I can get back to a more relaxed blogging schedule….. Yeah, that is not gonna happen. Next up it is Christmas with the in-laws…lol.
Gluten Free Vegan Italian Chocolate Panforte
- 300 grams pistachios, hazelnuts and cashews (2 and 1/4 cups)
- 125 grams dried figs (1 cup)
- 125 grams dried apricots (1 cup)
- 100 grams finely chopped mixed citrus candied peel (2/3 cup)
- 75 grams rice flour (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
- 125 grams light agave nectar (a scant 1/2 cup)
- 150 grams dark brown sugar (2/3 cup - packed)
- 100 grams good quality dark chocolate (3.5 ounces)
- 4 tablespoons vegan fortified wine
- Icing sugar to coat.
- Preheat your oven to 150C / 300F / Gas mark 2.
- Prepare a 20cm / 8inch round springform pan by lightly greasing it with vegetable fat and line the tin with baking parchment then place to one side.
- Cover a large flat baking sheet with baking parchment or use a silicone baking mat and sprinkle all of the nuts over it and place them in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Once 5 minutes are up, stir the nuts and give them a further 5 minutes. Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool down.
- While they are cooling down, take your figs and apricots and chop them up into small chunks and toss them into a large mixing bowl.
- Once the nuts are cool, chop them up - not too fine still leave them chunky and place them in with the figs and apricots.
- Add in the candied citrus peel and give all the nuts, fruit and peel a good mix.
- Add in, the rice flour, cocoa powder and spices and mix until everything is well combined.
- In a small saucepan over a low heat pour in the agave nectar, sugar and add-in the chocolate once it's been broken up into small chunks.
- Add-in, the wine if you are using it.
- Then over a low heat, stir until the ingredients warm up and the chocolate has melted.
- Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well coated.
- Carefully pour the batter into your prepared cake tin, pat it down with the back of a spoon and place in your warm oven for 40 minutes.
- Once baked take it out of the oven and allow it to sit in the tin and fully cool down. The cake will firm up as it cools.
- Once cool release the cake from the tin and liberally coat with icing sugar.
- Wrap the cake with baking parchment and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.
This looks delicious – I’ll definitely be giving it a try! 🙂
Thank you Katherine 😀
WHOA. THIS IS SO INTERESTING AND UNIQUE!! I don’t think I have ever seen a recipe like this before in my life. And I have never even heard of a panforte before – ha! It looks crunchy! 🙂 So much going on in there!
Thanks GiGi 😀
oh my goodness, this is just DENSE with good stuff! what a unique and drool-worthy treat!
Thanks Grace 😀
Hi Emma, I absolutely adore this panforte, the dried fruits, the nuts everything. Hope things slow down for you a little. Happy holidays, Cheri!
Thanks, Cheri. I hope you had a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year 😀
My husband is on a gluten-free diet so this recipe is just perfect for me. I have managed to find everyday cooking recipes but still struggling to find tasty recipes for gluten-free Christmas treats for him. Thank you very much for sharing!
Thanks, Miriam. I am sure your husband would love this 😀
I have never made panforte before but this looks so amazing. I love the combination of the ingredients and I will really love to try this out. Thanks for the delicious recipe Emma 🙂
Thank you Ashika 😀
This time of year does get crazy, doesn’t it? It’s a fun time, but SO frantic. Anyway, this looks terrific — full of flavor. Just what I need to soothe me in these busy times. 🙂
You are so right, it is crazy but kinda fun too 😉
Emma just salivating looking at your photos. The last time we had a panforte was in Bologna…. thanks for bringing back some delicious memories. Sharing, of course!
Thank you, I am glad I could bring back some happy memories 😀
What a gorgeous dessert! Packed full of fruit and nuts, every bite must be amazing!!
Thanks Liz 😀
It’s so easy to get behind this time of the year! We aren’t traveling this year which is nice (usually we do to visit my family who are a plane ride away) … but at the same time things have been nuts with trying to mail presents and such ahead of time! haha I figure at least close to the holiday I will be calm 🙂 ANYWAY this sounds delicious!! I hope you have a great early holiday with your family!!
Thanks, Ashley. I think Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the rush and stress surrounding it 😀
I love baked goods with nuts. This glutenfree panforte sounds great!
Thank you Balvinder 😀
This looks delicious! The only gluten free flour I have is coconut flour, buy I suspect it wouldn’t work here.
This looks so good regardless!
Coconut flour would definitely work here, Cathleen 😀
While I’ve eaten plenty of panforte I’ve never quite made one! But you’ve convinced me to give it a try! 😀
I am sure you will ace it, Lorraine!
I feel like I’m always three steps behind, too…even though I’m a total planner! It does seem hard to fit everything in, especially at this time of year, but it looks to me like you’re doing a great job! Chocolate is always a win in my book! 🙂 Hope you get to enjoy all your holiday get-togethers without feeling too rushed!
Thanks, Brianna. I think its just the time of year, everyone is so busy and there is so much to do. Come January it will all slow down and I’ll be bored…lol
I love the idea of doing an early Christmas with family! This time of year is so hectic it’s nice to find ways to make sure we see our loved ones :). I’ve never made panforte but I really want to try it!
It is a great way to see everyone especially when your family are all over the country! I am sure you would love panforte once you try it 😀
This is such a great recipe for this time of year; I always have loads of fruit and nuts in the house so this is a great way to use them up.
That is a great idea, Caroline 😀 nothing worse than that pile of fruit and nuts and nothing to do with them!
never knew about it… lots of spice will make it aromatic
Thank you Amrita, the spices do add a lovely quality to it.
It must have tasted marvelous with all the nuts, dried fruit and chocolate!
Thank you, Angie 😀