I love all the holiday breads and pastries this time of year that feature dried fruit, nuts and spices- cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Panforte, which means “firm bread” is one of my favorite winter treats to enjoy with tea or coffee. I adapted this recipe from the talented Maura Kilpatrick of Oleana restaurant. This recipe calls for a candy thermometer, but don’t be scared, it’s very easy to use.
3 tbs. cocoa powder
1 cup whole or sliced, blanched almonds
1 cup whole blanched hazelnuts
1 cup gluten-free flour of your choice
1/2 tsp. xanthin gum (if you mix does not contain it)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup candied ginger
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup currants or more cranberries
1/2 cup candied orange peel
1 cup unrefined sugar
2/3 cup honey
Method of Preparation:
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Buter a 9-inch spring form cake or tart pan and dust lightly with some cocoa powder.
- Toast almonds and hazelnuts in oven for 10-12 minutes
- In a large bowl, combine the nuts, gluten-free flour, xanthin gum (if using), the cocoa powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and pepper.
- Chop the apricots, orange peel and ginger into small pieces.
- In a small saucepan, cook the sugar and honey to 240 F. on a candy thermometer.
- Immediately pour the honey mixture into the flour and nut mixture. The mixture gets stiff quickly, so it will be difficult to stir. You can add a few tablespoons of water if necessary to combine the ingredients.
- Press into pan, wetting fingers if needed.
- Lower oven 300 F. Bake for 20-25 minutes until there are bubbles around the edges.
- 10. When cool, invert onto serving platter and dust with confectioner’s sugar.