Amanda's Panforte

The perfect edible gift, which you can give. 

From The Table Top was lucky enough to head over to our friend Amanda's house and bake some naughty but nice edible Christmas gifts. On the menu, a delicious traditional Italian panforte, and let me tell you it was buono!

Amanda is a natural born cook, wiping down her bench after each step and being meticulous with her measurement and technique. Her passion lies in baking because she loves the formulaic nature of making a baked good, and it is always something you can share. She told me whenever she bakes recipes straight from the book it's not til the fifth or sixth time round that she feels she's earnt the recipe's respect and can go rouge and ad hoc it.

When I asked her why she loved cooking so much she immediately said,

"I'm a bit of a feeder and love getting a reaction out of my guests."

And so she fed us the recipe to her delicious Christmas Panforte, and in the true spirit of Christmas, the lovely Amanda gifted us a quarter.

The Panforte is a divinely dense fruit and nut spice cake, and is the perfect edible Christmas gift. A quarter of the cake goes a long way, and the longer you leave it wrapped the more the spices develop in the cake (particularly the hint of cayenne, yum!)

Wrap the cake in a pretty bow and gift to friends! Their stomachs are sure to be impressed by this simple but delicious Christmas Panforte.

Amanda's Christmas Panforte

Prep time:30 mins Cook time:30 mins Serves:20




  • 40g cocoa
  • 325g nuts (almonds & pistachios)
  • 200g dried fruit (Glazed Maraschino cherry & dried sour cherries) - available at Harris Farm
  • 110g plain flour
  • 85g melted dark chocolate
  • 210g honey
  • 200g white sugar
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chilli ( cayenne)
  • 1 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 100g icing sugar


  1. Dust a 22cm tin with cocoa and pre-heat the oven to 180C
  2. Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl
  3. Chop the nuts and fruit in another bowl
  4. Sift through the dry ingredients into the nuts & fruit
  5. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds
  6. Add the melted chocolate and stir in thoroughly
  7. In a saucepan place the sugar and honey together and heat over the stove until it bubbles or 115C
  8. Add the honey sugar mix to your main bowl and quickly mix together, before it starts to harden.
  9. Place the mixture into your pre-dusted cake tin and spread across the tin using your hands to flatten into the tin.
  10. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, to test it is ready it needs be hard but your finger needs to come away a little.
  11. You must let the panforte rest for 1.5 hours before taking out of the tin
  12. Once cooled remove from tin and dust completely (top and bottom) with icing sugar.
  13. Now you are ready to package up in baking paper and a pretty bow to wow all your friends.