Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vegan Panforte, an Italian Christmas Treat!

As a child I always had panforte for Christmas. It came in a packet, and my brother and I loved it: it was special. Then I moved to London, and panforte became an even more expensive luxury. Let's not talk of Japan and New Zealand! So about a decade ago I decided to make my own.

A made a few variations this year. In a recent comment Yari from Il cucchiaio di legno blog told me that industrial Vegan Panettone is not exactly 'nice'. I thought that it is hard to be a Vegetarian or a Vegan at Xmas. Panforte is almost Vegan.... it has honey in it. It may be interesting to know, for some of you, that in New Zealand there are some Vegans who eat honey, in fact they are bee-keepers. They say that they don't kill the bees when collecting honey, and that the insect are vital if we are to get fruit in this country. But NZ must be an exception, for all I know Vegans in other parts of the world do not eat honey, so I decided to make this panforte with golden syrup, for Yari :-)


Golden Syrup, 2 tbsp

Vanilla flavoured sugar, 2 tbsp

Vanilla Icing sugar, 2 tbsp, plus more for dusting

Almonds (natural), 150 g /5½ oz

Citrus peels, 150 g / 5½ oz

Candied Fruit (I used a mixture of papaya, melon, and mango) 200 g / 7 oz

Plain flour, 100 g / 3½ oz

Powdered coriander, 1 tsp

Powdered cinnamon, 1 tsp

Powdered nutmeg, ¼ tsp

The vanilla flavoured sugar is white sugar kept in a sealed jar with a vanilla stick in it.

Put the golden syrup, vanilla sugar and icing sugar in a bowl with two tbsp of water, and dissolve on low heat in a pot of water (Bain Marie or double boiling).

Remove from heat and add fruit, almonds and all the other dried ingredients. At this point you will start to fill the aroma of the spices, it really feels like Christmas!

Line a 22-23 cm round tin with baking paper and, if you have it, line it with some rice paper. Fill with the mixture and cover with more rice paper, pressing down well. Wet the top rice paper with water so that it will not burn.

Bake at 160°C (325ºF) for 30 minutes, Remove from the oven, but leave in its baking tin, and cover with a thick layer of icing sugar. Serve cold, and only small slices (it is quite filling!).

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. I love panforte, and it is so expensive to buy!

  2. Hi Alessandra!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and thanks for this link. I'm actually a new follower on one of your other blogs...Only Recipes, which is great too! This panforte sounds wonderful, and I love your beautiful step-by-step photographs.

  3. Ciao Rose, Welcome on the Vegan Blog, and thank you for following Only Recipes :-)