Christmas Panforte di Siena 

Christmas Panforte di Siena 

Panforte is a traditional, chewy, Tuscan Christmas speciality. Rich, dense and uniquely aromatic, this chewy-fudgy cake is bejewelled with chunks of candied fruit and crunchy, whole almonds and hazelnuts. The magic starts by carefully selecting the star ingredients, then slowing blending and boiling these with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. The finished cake is dusted with sugar. A delicious snack at home or on the go. 

Serves: approx. 12-16 

Ingredients for the dough: 

120g hazelnuts 

50g dried figs 

50g dried apricots 

50g candied orange peel 

50g raisins 

50g pistachios 

75g flour 

1cm ginger – freshly grated with the coarse blade of the Microplane Dual Grater 

1tsp cinnamon – freshly grated with the fine blade of the Microplane Dual Grater 

One nutmeg – freshly grated with the Microplane Spice Mill 

One tonka bean – freshly grated with the Microplane Spice Mill 

150g honey 

100g sugar 

1 orange – zest freshly grated with the Microplane Premium Classic Zester 

Icing Sugar for dusting 


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cover the baking tin (size approx. 10 x 30cm) with baking paper 
  • Roast the hazelnuts in the oven for about 8-10 minutes then let them cool briefly on a kitchen towel and use the kitchen towel to rub off the skin. Lower the temperature of the oven to 150°C. 
  • Chop the dried fruit and mix with the nuts and orange zest. Fold in the flour and spices. 
  • Pour the honey and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil, heating until the sugar is dissolved. Add the sugar-honey liquid very quickly to the nut mixture and immediately pour it into the baking dish, spread it out using a tbsp or damp hands 
  • Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Leave until completely cooled in the baking tray 
  • Remove from the tin and baking paper and dust with icing sugar 
  • Cut into small slices. 

The Microplane® range is available from John Lewis, Borough Kitchen, Divertimenti, and independent cookshops nationwide. 

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