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Panforte di Siena

This is not only a traditional recipe around Christmas time but it is also historical. Its roots go back to the 12th century in Siena. Today, this sweet is very common here and is industrially produced, just like the panettone (whose origins are from Milan), which you can both easily buy at the supermarket rather than make at home. As I'm sure this is not the case in other parts of the world, I've asked for the recipe and been told that hardly anyone makes this at home anymore (too bad!) and therefore the recipe has not been tried in this household. If you try this recipe, please let me know how it turns out.

Enjoy with a glass of Vin Santo!

Serves: 12


  • 300 gr. almonds, peeled and chopped (about 10.5 ounces)
  • 200 gr. walnuts, chopped (about 7 ounces)
  • 150 gr. peeled roasted hazelnuts, chopped (about 5 ounces)
  • 150 gr. dried figs, cut into small pieces
  • 150 gr. each of these candied sweets: citrus peel, pumpkin, grapefruit peel
  • 50 gr. sweet baking cocoa (about 3 ½ Tbsp)
  • 15 gr. ground cinnamon (about 3 tsp)
  • 15 gr. total of a mix of ground cloves, white pepper, mace and coriander (about 3 tsp total)
  • 150 gr. good quality honey (about 2/3 cup)
  • 200 gr. powdered sugar
  • thin wafers, enough to cover the bottom of your baking pan, preferably springform
  1. In a bowl, combine the almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts. Add the figs and candied fruit, sprinkle the cocoa, half of the cinnamon and spices on top, and mix.
  2. In a thick bottomed sauce pan, mix the honey with 3/4 of the powdered sugar. Place over medium heat and slowly stir with a spatula until the mixture begins to thicken and when rubbing a bit of the mixture on the spatula, it turns into a ball.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the fruit and nuts, mixing well. Slightly butter the bottom and sides of your pan to help keep the wafers in place. Add the mixture to your pan, leveling the top with your spatula.
  4. Place the panforte in a 300°F (150 °C) oven for 30 minutes. Let cool, remove from the pan and sprinkle the remaining powdered sugar and cinnamon over the top of the panforte. Conserve in a dry place until ready to serve.

Buon appetito!

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