Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vegan Panforte

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. It took me a while to get the taste I was looking for, and my original recipes, also published in my book Sweet As... is here.

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 ©

With this recipe I take part in the Contest It is not Christmas without... form Pasticci e Pastrocchi. Grazie Claudia!


  1. Ciao Ale, ma il tuo panforte vegan è stupendo! e grazie dell'inclusione nel tuo blogroll...come potrei dispiacermi? anzi!!
    :) un bacio dal freddo, mentre nevica.

  2. Grazie Eleonora, ed un abbraccio caldo dal Sud :-)

  3. Favoloso a dir poco!!!Cmq anche in Italia ci sono vegani che mangiano il miele(bio) mica le uccidino le api!bacioni

  4. Io l'adoro il Panforte, è delizioso!

  5. This looks amazing! I HAVE to try this!

  6. Grazie a tutte e welcome Vittle me this :-)

  7. Mmm, I'm sure I'd love that! Panforte seems to be a tough sell to Americans, I've tried a few times and they just don't appreciate it.

  8. posted a fruit cake, this is just simple and straight fwd version will try this for sure :)

  9. I've never heard of panforte, but it looks and sounds awesome!

  10. Really Michael? Now that you mention it, I think that most of my American friends prefer 'soft' cakes...

  11. This looks amazing, Alessandra. And it must smell so good when you're mixing it up.

  12. This really sounds delicious. Believe it or not I have to mailorder golden syrup. Such are the vagaries of the global marketplace :-). I hope you had a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  13. Wow Mary! I thought that you would find golden syrup easily in the US. You can also use maple syrup :-)


  14. OMG! I looks yummy. I'd like to try it out some day!

  15. Thanks for the recipe, it's wonderful! The problem is now to get golden syrup in Italy ;-) As for honey, there are vegans who have it, even though the majority (like me) don't.


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