The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

panpepato, panforte nero

keesmees's picture

panpepato, panforte nero

origin:  siena toscane.  you can make it 2-3 weeks beforehand.

good company for the coffee with wiskey or cognac after the christmas dinner

this is the peppered version I made last year:

preheat oven at 175°C

-500 g mixed nuts: almond, hazelnut, walnut. chopped coarsely and roasted lightbrown in oven.
-2 tablespoons mixed spices: cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, ginger
-1 teaspoon white pepper
-500 g mixed fruit: dried fig, dried apricot, candied orange peel, candied lemon peel chopped coarsely.
-½ cup AP flour

mix all ingredients


-1 cup sugar
-½ cup honey
-75 gr  noir de noir chocolate
-and a bit water

 in a thick walled pan. heat very very slow, don't burn the chocolate!
 stirr till the sugar becomes a bit stiff ( but not caramelized!!!)
from the fire, now stirr in the nut- and fruit-mix.

put the mass in a baking tray (20 cm) with bakingpaper and smooth the surface with a wet spoon or knife.

20-30 minutes in oven at 175°C.

the panpepato is brown already and further browning is no good. so cover with alu-foil if necessary.

-don't use too much nutmeg
-make your own candied peels the day before. they taste better.
-don't burn the chocolate!!! or add it after cooking the sugar and before mixing in the nut- & fruitmix.
-the mixed spices and the pepper fine grounded (powder) not coarse.

-panpepato is normally decorated with powdered sugar (but I don't like the ugly taste of raw sugar)


pmccool's picture


Could you explain the sugar/honey/chocolate/water portion of the recipe a bit more please?  Do all four ingredients go into the pan at the same time?  Or is there a sequence that must be followed?  My reason for asking is that one of the few things that I remember about working with chocolate is never to introduce water into melted chocolate because the chocolate will 'seize', or become very stiff. 

By the way, is chocolate supposed to be grated or chopped before it goes in the pan?  How much water would you recommend?  Since you mention not to add too much nutmeg, do you have preferred proportions for the spices?

Thanks in advance for your answers.  It looks like a fabulous treat.


keesmees's picture

questions one by one: 

 - I start with 50-70 ml water to prevent the sugar to be burned. stirr a bit and subsequently add honey and immediately melt the coarsely chopped chocolate in it. never had problems with stiff chocolate. once I had burned chocolate and had to start over again.

- proportions I prefer:

 *nuts: 200 hazel/200almond/100 walnut

 *dried fruit: 200 dried apricot / 200 dried figs / 100 home made candied orange and lemon peels (3 oranges 2 lemons.  I use an Y-peeler,  so i don't use the white of the peel)

* spices: ½ tablespoon cinnamon / 1 tablespoon ketoembar (corianderseed / 1 tablespoon djahé (ginger) / 1 flat teaspoon or less nutmeg. 1 full teaspoon white or black pepper.

but you can change proportions if you like. every village in umbria and toscane has his own recipe.

Note: didn't know the english stages of sugar cooking, but I just found them:

the sugar / honey must be cooked till soft to firm-ball stage. the mixing in of the nuts is very strenuous.

RFMonaco's picture

Thanks for this hard to find recipe!

ehanner's picture

This does sound delicious. I'm not experienced at all with candies except fudge and divinity so I know about soft and hard ball.

One question I have is about the candied fruit peels. Is that a matter of boiling the peels in a super saturated water sugar mix until they are tender then spreading them and toss in raw sugar? I think that's the way my mother used to do those.


keesmees's picture

yepp eric. something like that.

- wash the fruit and peel.

-trow peels in boiling water 5 minutes. throw water away

- and then simmer peels in  heavy sugar solution at least 90 minutes

in this case you don't need to toss them in sugar.






GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture

keesmees, I am forever trying to find a unique recipe to serve during the holidays.  (Dried fruits and nuts are always a favorite with me and each year finds me experimenting with yet another fruitcake recipe....much to the chagrin of my family.)

I'm definitely trying this recipe this year.  Thanks for submitting it! 


RFMonaco's picture

Another Panforte Di Siena from Bon Appetit

Panforte Di Siena
 This is a delicious Christmas Dessert  from Tuscany.It is best eaten, sliced into very thin slices, after Dinner with Liqueurs, Tea or Coffee.
More Christmas Recipes
200g ( 7oz ) Almonds, freshly ground
100g ( 4oz ) Almonds left whole
100g ( 4oz ) Walnuts, freshly ground
100g ( 4oz ) Hazelnuts, freshly ground
300g  ( 10oz ) candied orange and lemon peel, finely chopped
50g ( 2oz ) dried figs, finely chopped
200g ( 7oz ) caster sugar
100g ( 40z ) Honey
a pinch each of ground cinnamon, cloves,
coriander and freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoon of all-purpose ( plain)  flour
1 sheet rice paper
2 extra teaspoons of cinnamon and flour, mixed together

Preheat Oven 160C ( 325F/Gas 3 )
20cm ( 8 inch ) shallow baking tin

  1. Put the honey and sugar into a heatproof bow and 
  2. place on top a saucepan with boiling water stirring all the time until sugar has dissolved
  3. now mix in all the other ingredients 
  4. line the lightly greased baking tin with the rice paper
  5. pour in the mixture and dust with the flour and cinnamon
  6. bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes
    the cake will remain flat and not rise
  7. cool and dust off remaining flour.
  8. wrap in foil and keep in a tin in a cool place, will keep for many weeks.
  9. before serving dust lightly with powder sugar

Bon Appétit


keesmees's picture

"best eaten, sliced into very thin slices" is quite to the point: 

my recipe totals 1.5 kilo and about 6700 kcal.

so when you divide in 24 pieces its 280 kcal a piece !


grind's picture

Thanks for the inspiration -