Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Recipes

How to make the perfect Panforte - honeyed Tuscan Christmas cake

Panforte is a traditional, chewy Italian dessert packed full of fruit and nuts, typically enjoyed at Christmas.

We've teamed up with Belfast Cookery School to show you how to make this delicious Tuscan treat.


  • 300g nuts (pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds) toasted and chopped
  • 50g candied peel, finely chopped
  • 250g dried fruit (dates and apricots)
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 tsp all spice
  • 125g good quality honey
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp marsala wine
  • Icing sugar to dust


1. Tip nuts, peel and dried fruit into a bowl. Sieve flour and spices and mix together.

2. Heat the honey, sugar and wine in a medium pot over a medium heat. Bubble for 3-4 mins until sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot liqud over the fruit and nuts, then mix. Scrape the mixture into 20cm greased and lined flan ring. Use the back of a wet spoon to flatten mix. Bake at 130ooC for 25-30 mins

3. Surface should be soft but not stick - it will firm u as it cools. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove. Cool completely on rack and dust generally with icing sugar.

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