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Panforte
Panforte di Sienna

Panforte

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
150 g Flour
120 g Almonds
100 g Hazelnuts
100 g Candied cedrat peels
100 g Candied orange peels
100 g Honey
20 g Water
50 g Sugar
Clove powder
Nutmeg
Cinnamon
Powdered sugar
Cuisine:

    Panforte is a typical Christmas cake from the city of Siena, in Tuscany, made of dried fruits, honey, and spices.

    • 45 minutes
    • Serves 8
    • Easy
    class="bordered-title"> Ingredients

    Panforte is a typical Christmas cake from the city of Siena, in Tuscany. It’s made of dried fruits, honey, and spices.

    From the 10th century onwards, cakes made with just flour and water, tipical of italian frugal cuisine, were prepared. Over time, additional ingredients such as honey, fruits, and spices were then incorporated. The name “panforte”, translating to “strong bread” or “spiced bread”, comes from the Latin word “fortis”. This term is a nod to its intense taste and spicy flavor. Interestingly, the residents of Siena referred to it as “panpepato“, or peppered bread, as the original panforte recipe included black pepper.

    The history of this cake trace back to antiquity. Indeed, the Romans used to eat a honey cake known as “panis mellitus“. Later, in the Middle Ages, a document from the State Archives of Siena dated 1205 mentions the “panes melati et pepati”, as a bread flavored with honey and pepper. The recipe for panforte remained unchanged until 1978. During the visit of Queen Margherita of Savoy, an apothecary replaced the pepper with vanilla sugar. This version, called panforte Margherita, is the most prevalent today. In 2013, the panforte di Siena obtained the IGP certification.

    A fruit and nut cake with a medieval flavor Panforte can be easily prepared at home. Indeed, it simply involves mixing dried fruits, candied fruits, spices, and flour. Then, a syrup of honey and melted sugar is added. The dough is then poured into a round mold and baked in the oven for about thirty minutes. Panforte can be stored for a long time, in an airtight container, away from moisture.

    It is enjoyed in thin slices, accompanied by a sweet wine, such as Vin Santo, or a coffee. It is the perfect conclusion to a festive meal, or as a gourmet and original gift to offer loved ones. Panforte is a symbol of Italian culinary tradition. Indeed, this spicy cake combines the genuine ingredients rich in flavors.

    Steps

    1
    Done
    5 minutes

    Toasting the almonds and hazelnuts

    Lightly toast the almonds and hazelnuts in the oven at 160°C (320°F) for 5 minutes. Let them cool.

    2
    Done
    5 minutes

    Sugar syrup

    In a small saucepan, gently melt the sugar in the water over low heat. Add the honey and stir with a wooden spoon until you get a smooth syrup. Set aside.

    3
    Done
    5 minutes

    The dough

    In a bowl, add the almonds, hazelnuts, flour, candied fruits cut into pieces, and spices, then mix. Add the syrup and mix well to amalgamate all the ingredients. On the bottom of a buttered mold, place a sheet of wafer paper. Pour the dough and level it well on the surface.

    4
    Done
    30 minutes

    Baking the panforte

    Bake the panforte at 180°C (356°F) for 30 minutes. Allow it to cool. Unmold and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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