Today we have another traditional recipe with a twist, a Nut-Free Chocolate Panforte, from Nirvana Cakery. Panforte is a chewy Italian dessert containing fruits and nuts dating back to 13th century.
Traditionally, dried fruits, nuts and spices are mixed together with flour, sugar and honey and then baked in a shallow pan.
To make this recipe vegan, gluten-free and nut-free, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are used in place of nuts. Added to this - dried figs and sour cherries, spices – cinnamon, cardamom and cayenne - a little bit of brown rice flour, a mix of rapadura sugar and maple syrup, and melted dark chocolate.
Panforte typically contains fairly large amount of sugar and honey, but because we used chocolate, the sugar has been reduced to a minimum, just enough to help with the structure without overpowering the rest of the ingredients.
This is a simple recipe to make and you could easily add your own spin to it – different dried fruits, seeds, nuts or spices. We have two versions, one more fruity and chewy and one more seedy and denser. Testers for this recipe love both versions, so the second version is included in the notes in case you would like more choice.
This recipe uses Amore di Mona couverture chocolat speciale, which is rich, luxurious and produces results that are truly amazing. Enjoy the recipe :)
NUT-FREE CHOCOLATE PANFORTE (GLUTEN-FREE & VEGAN)
Author: Hana, Nirvana Cakery
Serves: 8" cake
3/4 cup sunflower seeds (80g)
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds (80g)
ried sour cherries (80g)
1 cup dried figs, about 7 large figs (130g)
1/2 cup brown rice flour (70g)
1/4 cup rapadura sugar (40g)
1/4 cup maple syrup (60ml )
6oz Amore di Mona couverture chocolat speciale (3 cubes) (170g)
Preheat the oven to 160°C (320F)
Line the base and sides of 8" spring form round cake tin with baking paper.
Place sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds into a large bowl.
Roughly chop the cherries, slice the figs and add to the bowl with seeds.
In a small bowl whisk the brown rice flour with cinnamon, cardamom and cayenne and add into the seed fruit mix. Mix well and set aside.
Roughly chop the chocolate, place into a bowl and melt in a double boiler.
In a small pot on a low heat gently warm sugar, maple syrup and 1tbsp of water just until dissolved, it only takes a minute.
Stir melted chocolate and warmed sugar mix into the dry mix and mix thoroughly. It will be a thick mix.
Spoon the mix into the prepared tin, level out the surface and press the mix tightly down. It takes a bit of time so have patience with it.
Place the tin on top of a baking tray before placing into the oven as it might leak through the base.
Bake for about 35 minutes until the top is set. Once ready the surface will stop being glossy.
Remove from the oven and leave to completely cool down in the tin.
Remove from the tin and with a very sharp knife slice into triangles.
For more dense seedy texture use 120g (1 cup) sunflower seeds and 80g (1/2 cup) dried figs.