Chocolate Panforte
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An excellent variation of the traditional Panforte featured in the cookbook Sweets, by Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh
Author:
Serves: 10 - 16 slices or 12 - 20 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of whole blanched hazelnuts
  • 1 cup of whole blanched almonds
  • 7 ounces of candied orange peel, in ⅓ inch pieces
  • 3½ ounces of dried figs, stemmed and chopped into ⅓ inch pieces
  • Grated zest of one large organic orange
  • 1¾ cups plus 3 tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cardamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 5½ ounces of 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon of honey
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. You can either use a 9 inch springform pan or an 8 inch square pan, in both cases grease well and line with parchment paper, grease the parchment paper. Using the square pan is recommended if you are cutting the Panforte into pieces to add to a cookie tray or wrap and give as holiday gifts.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 º.
  3. Spread the hazelnuts and almonds on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes or until they are light brown and fragrant. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 250 º and allow the nuts to remain in the oven if you are proceeding with the Panforte at this time. If not, remove the toasted nuts, reserve and warm when you are ready to proceed with the recipe.
  4. Place the chopped candied orange peel, figs and orange peel in a large bowl and combine with a wooden spoon or with your hands.
  5. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, spices, salt and pepper twice, the second time sift directly over the fruit. Combine the dry ingredients well with the fruit to insure that the fruit is evenly coated.
  6. Placed the chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water - standard procedure for melting chocolate. Stir every so often to insure that all of the chocolate is melted. Once the chocolate has melted, turn off the flame however leave the bowl on top of the hot water to keep the chocolate warm.
  7. Have a candy thermometer ready at the stove. Place the sugar and honey in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring from time to time. As soon as the sugar dissolves stop stirring and increase the heat to high. Allow the mixture to simmer until the syrup has reached 237º, the soft boil stage. The syrup comes to the correct temperature rather quickly, so keep a close watch. If the temperature rises about 237º, the recipe will still work but the panforte will be firmer.
  8. Carefully pour the hot syrup over the chopped fruit and dry ingredients, add the warmed nuts straight from the oven. Adjust the oven temperature once again to 350º.
  9. Pour the warm melted chocolate over the fruit and nuts and immediately stir everything together. Having the nuts warm will help the mixture come together as this is a very dense batter. The mixture will be thick and rather difficult to combine, have faith it will be fine.
  10. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan with a large wooden spoon or spatula. Dampen your fingers and pat down so that it is even.
  11. Bake for 18 minutes until the Panforte is set but not too hard. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan before slicing it into segments or bars. The Panforte keeps quite well, wrapped in plastic and stored in a cool dry place. It is actually better after a week when the flavors begin to develop. This is a very rich sweet and thin slices or small segments are all that is needed.
Recipe by La Bella Sorella at http://labellasorella.com/2017/12/chocolate-panforte/