Vegan Panforte

imagePanforte is a Christmas fruit cake from Siena (Tuscany, my homeland).  It’s a kind of spicy super-nougat and I really love it. I usually bake it for the Christmas season, but it is wonderful any time of the year. The name panforte, “strong bread,” is due to its strongly spicy flavor. 🙂

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INGREDIENTS: 120 g walnuts 120 g almonds 150 g flour 200 g candied cedro and orange finely chopped 200 g brown sugar 150 g maple syrup (or honey if you are not vegan) 50 g vanilla sugar 1 pinch ground cinnamon 1 pinch ground nutmeg 1 pinch of ground coriander

You will need a small tart pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.

Preheat your oven (150° C). Place walnuts and almonds on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until brown and fragrant and the skins start to peel. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack, and cover the hazelnuts with a clean dish towel. Let the nuts ‘steam’ for about 5 minutes. Then briskly rub the nuts to remove most of their skins. Set aside to let the nuts cool completely and then coarsely chop. In a large bowl combine the nuts, candied fruit,spices, flour. In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and maple syrup. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir the sugar/maple syrup into the chopped nut and fruit mixture. The mixture will stiffen quickly so once combined, transfer to your prepared pan. Evenly spread the Panforte, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar and flour.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 30 –35 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. While the Panforte is still warm, dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.image

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