Serves a duo or family of four all week long.

Panforte is a traditional Italian holiday fruit cake. This chocolate version is elegant enough to use as a dessert or a gift, while the use of malt contributes an earthy sweetness.


1. Grease a 9 or 10” springform pan or similar sized cake tray and line the bottom with parchment. Grease the parchment and dust with flour. Preheat oven to 300F.

2. Combine ingredients in a large bowl.

  • 1 c whole toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 c whole toasted almonds or pistachios
  • 1 c dried figs, chopped
  • 1 c dried apricots, chopped or whole dried cherries
  • 1 ½ c dark chocolate, chopped

3. Sift dry ingredients and toss with the fruit, nut, and chocolate mixture. 

  • 1 ¾ c malted flour (chef’s choice)
  • 2T cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt

4. Bring malt, honey, and sugar to a boil, then simmer for about 2 minutes until slightly reduced.

  • 1/3 c malt extract
  • 1 c honey
  • 1 c cane sugar

5. Pour the hot syrup over the other ingredients and stir with a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon. If you need to, use gloved hands to finish mixing.

6. Press the batter into a baking tray and use wet hands or offset spatula to flatten the top. Bake for about 30 min and remove from the oven. When still warm, run an offset spatula or butter knife along the inside of the pan and after a few minutes, turn out onto a cooling rack or cutting board. The panforte will firm up as it cools. 

7. To serve, dust w/ cocoa powder and slice into thin wedges. Panforte keeps well at room temperature for up to a week wrapped in parchment or plastic.