Recipe courtesy of Joann Maguire

Chocolate Panforte

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 30 min
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4 ounces whole hazelnuts (3/4 cup)

Butter, at room temperature, for greasing

2 tablespoons brandy 

3 ounces dried cherries (1/2 cup) 

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped (3/4 cup) 

1 1/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (1/4 cup) 

1 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour 

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

2/3 cup honey 

2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder


Special equipment:
a 9-inch springform pan
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Bake until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Rub the warm hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel to remove the skins.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter, then fit with a circle of parchment paper, and brush the parchment with butter.
  4. Combine the hazelnuts, brandy, cherries, unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet chocolate in a medium bowl. Sift 1 cup of the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon in another bowl.
  5. Combine the honey and sugar in a saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the dried fruit mixture, stirring until combined. Fold in the flour and mix to combine. Pour into the prepared pan.
  6. Use wet hands or a small metal spatula to press the mixture to form a level layer. Combine the remaining 1/2 tablespoon flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and the cocoa. Sift over the cake. Bake until set, about 30 minutes.
  7. Cool and gently brush off the flour coating before serving.