Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Panforte Cioccolato

Panforte Cioccolata 
Source: Maida Heatter's Best Dessert Book Ever (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 1997 ed.), pg. 79.

Although listed in the "chocolate cakes" section of her book, this Italian delicacy is more like candy or bread. "Panforte" means "strong bread" and is a good name for this energizing concoction of honey, nuts, candied fruits, cocoa and spices. It keeps well for a long time and travelers packed it in their bags during the Crusades.

This is a dessert for the Christmas holidays and it tastes a lot like fruitcake. It is rich and chewy (you need good teeth for this!).

It is not overly difficult to make but does require some fast action and a candy thermometer. 

Note: For the fruit peel, I just purchased a container of the blended fruitcake mix that is readily available in grocery stores during the holidays. 

1 cup almonds (blanched or unblanched)
4 oz. diced glazed orange peel
4 oz. diced glazed lemon peel
4 oz. diced glazed citron
1/2 cup unsifted unbleached flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 1/2 tsp. powdered instant expresso or coffee
1 cup hazelnuts (blanched or unblanched) (you can also use walnuts)
1/2 cup mild honey
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Confectioners sugar

The full recipe is available on the New York Times website

I mixed my crumbs with cocoa so that it would be dark.

It is best to use your fingers to mix the fruit with the ingredients.

When mixing the honey and sugar, stir it constantly. When it begins to boil, it will reach 248 degrees really fast! 

Wrap it airtight in plastic wrap (I cut it into slices first). You can let this sit at room temperature for weeks. It can also be frozen. 


No comments: