Recipe Type: dessert
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves: 10
Siena's rustic, medieval flavoured flat cake, panforte, is dense with candied fruit, spices and nuts. The perfect rich winter treat.
  • 400 g or 14 ounces candied melon (or dried figs or candied cedro)
  • 50 g or 1.7 ounces candied orange peel
  • 350 g or 12 ounces white sugar
  • 350 g or 12 ounces blanched, peeled whole almonds
  • 150 g or 5.2 ounces flour
  • 10 g or 0.3 ounces (or about 2 tablespoons) mixed spices (the traditional mix is made up of 6 g coriander seeds, 3 g mace, pinch cloves, pinch nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns (optional)
  • 5 g (1 tablespoon) of cinnamon
  • icing sugar
  1. Chop the candied fruit into small pieces and set aside. Grind the mixed spice together (I use a coffee bean grinder that I don’t use for coffee or you can try a mortar and pestle, the old fashioned way) and set aside.
  2. Place the sugar in about 100 ml (3.3 fluid ounces) of water in a saucepan over low heat. Let it dissolve and thicken into a syrup without colouring (it should reach 120 C if you have a sugar thermometer).
  3. Take the syrup off the heat and combine with the flour, the candied fruit, the whole almonds and spices (minus the cinnamon).
  4. Pour into a greased, floured round, flat cake tin (the panforte should be about 2cm tall, a tin about 26cm or 10 inches in diameter should do the trick), sprinkle the cinnamon over the top and cook in a medium oven (about 160 C or 320 F) for 30 minutes or until firm. Remove the panforte from its cake tin, allow to cool and cover generously with icing sugar.
  5. It keeps very, very well, best if it is covered or in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at