With the countdown to Christmas almost over, time is running short for all of us that still have things to do. But if you need a quick, easy, yet still impressive dessert for your dinner table. This Traditional Italian Honey Panforte is the answer to your prayers. As promised when I posted my Gluten Free Vegan Italian Chocolate Panforte here is the recipe to the more traditional version that you will find in most corners of Italy. So sit back and enjoy my version of Traditional Italian Honey Panforte.
Let’s jump straight in!
This delightful European treat is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. It keeps really well for a month. It’s great for gifting or keeping on hand for those unexpected Christmas guests that always seem to turn up unannounced!
This traditional Italian Honey Panforte is a mix of dried fruits, I used figs and apricots combed with a mixture of nuts. I used a combination of pistachios, hazelnuts and cashews. The fruit and nuts are held together by a mix of flour and a few sweet fragrant spices. A touch of sugar, honey and a splash of sweet dessert wine. It’s all baked together on a low heat to give you a sweet, sticky delightful treat.
Panforte is traditionally covered in icing sugar/powdered sugar so it is easier to handle when cutting and eating.
Easy to turn Vegan & Gluten Free
It’s easy to make this traditional Italian honey panforte vegan and gluten-free. To make it vegan simply swap out the honey for light agave nectar and make sure your dessert wine is vegan-friendly because not all of them are. To make gluten-free simply swap out the flour for your favourite gluten-free flour. Rice, coconut, plain/all-purpose mix. The amount is so little the flour really has more of a binding property than flavour and structure property.
I am going to leave you all here and keep this short and sweet. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I sincerely hope you all have a fabulous, wonderful day with your friends, family and loved ones. If you are working then I hope it’s not a stressful day for you and you still manage to have some fun.
Traditional Italian Honey Panforte
- 300 grams pistachios, hazelnuts and cashews (combined weight) (2 and ¼ cups)
- 125 grams dried figs (1 cup)
- 125 grams dried apricots (1 cup)
- 100 grams finely chopped mixed citrus candied peel (2/3 cup)
- 50 grams plain / all-purpose flour (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon)
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 125 grams honey (a scant ½ cup)
- 150 grams dark brown sugar (2/3 cup - packed)
- 4 tablespoons fortified / dessert 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 butter 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.
- Pour in the flour and spices and mix until everything is well combined.
- In a small saucepan over a low heat pour in the honey and sugar. Add-in, the wine if you are using it.
- Then over a low heat, stir until the ingredients warm up and allow it to gently bubble for a few minutes.
- 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.