Panforte, A Recipe From Siena Italy

One of the most beautiful cities we have visited is Siena when we were in Italy in 2010. Dave and I left Assisi and took a drive to Firenze (Florence). When we were on honeymoon, we missed out on two things in Florence and had driven back to walk around the Duomo and visit the Uffizzi Gallery. We then drove to Sienna where we stayed at the Hotel il Palio in the old city. We found a quaint restaurant just outside the old walls called Ristorante Imaestri where we had a very memorable meal. Panforte is said to have originated in Siena and the traditional recipe should contain 17 ingredients, which represent the number of Contrade within the city walls. My recipe is based on one I cut out of the Fair Lady magazine and does not contain that many ingredients. The recipe also called for rice paper and after making mine with rice paper, I cannot see the need for it. I have since checked up on traditional recipes, and they do not call for rice paper. It is only commercial panforte that uses rice paper. This panforte is rich and decadent and a small slim slice is all you need. Serve it with an espresso or dessert wine and you will be transported in taste sensation at least to Siena.

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All Rights Reserved: Adapted from Fair Lady Magazine February 2013 page 6


  • 100 g blanched hazelnuts
  • 100 g blanched almonds
  • 100 g raw pistachios
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 150 g self raising flour
  • 80 g cocoa powder
  • 5 mls baking powder
  • 5 mls ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • 200 g dark chocolate roughly chopped
  • 150 g sugar - I used fructose
  • 230 g honey


  • Preheat the oven to 100° Celsius
  • Place the nuts onto a baking tray and bake for an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 150° Celsius
  • Spray a spring form tin with non stick cooking spray and line the base with baking paper
  • Chop the nuts roughly, and add to a large mixing bowl together with the cranberries
  • Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt
  • Mix together to coat the nuts and cranberries with the flour, this will help prevent them from sinking
  • Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie
  • Place the sugar and honey in a saucepan and place on the stove on a medium to high heat
  • Stir continuously until the sugar has melted and bring to the boil
  • When the syrup has reached 112° Celsius pour the syrup into the chocolate and mix in
  • Then pour the liquid ingredients into your dry ingredients and working as quickly as possible, mix them together thoroughly
  • Pour the mixture into your tin and flatten down
  • Bake for 35 minutes and leave to cool in the tin
  • Remove from the tin and cut into wedges


Traditionally panforte is dusted with icing sugar.

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34 thoughts on “Panforte, A Recipe From Siena Italy

  1. Panforte. Honestly I’ve never seen on or had one but your pictures…Now I need to try one. All those delicious nut additions really sealed the deal for me. I’m passing this on to my wife, she’s better in the kitchen. 🙂

  2. I love panforte and often make it as Christmas presents for family and friends.

  3. Wow…17 ingredients in the original recipe is quite a lot! 🙂 I’ve never had panforte before, but yours looks so tasty I really want to try it now!

  4. Yum, I love panforte! The thing is one slice is never enough for me, and so I tend to finish it too quickly and last time I bought some, I had a major sugar rush! Will have to try your recipe with fructose!

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