Panforte Nero. Gingerbread, rich chocolate candy, Christmas sweet – any of these names is appropriate. Panforte burst into my life unexpectedly and definitely forever, which is surprising for not the biggest chocolate lover.
For my taste, candied orange can be skipped, otherwise it’s a wonderful recipe, which is doubly wonderful in that panforte could be prepared in advance and stored just in a cupboard. Take the panforte out of the cupboard at the right time, sprinkle cocoa – and you can go make coffee. Necessarily coffee, panforte is not about tea or supposably glögg.
The bad thing is that for cooking panforte it would be nice to have an immersion culinary thermometer. But even without it, everything will work out, I promise.
Pour nuts on a baking sheet and place in a slightly heated oven (no higher than 150 °C) for 30 minutes. Remove the nuts and refrigerate them to room temperature.
Break the chocolate into small pieces.
Cut the zest of citrus into small cubes. Grind all spices in a pounder.
Combine flour, cocoa and spices, zest, then add nuts and candied fruits.
Preheat the oven to 150 °C.
In a heavy saucepan, mix sugar, honey and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved, let the mixture boil for another 1 minute. If you have a sugar thermometer, bring the temperature of the syrup to 116 °C. Remove the syrup saucepan from the heat. Pour chocolate into syrup. Stir the syrup until the chocolate melts and the syrup becomes homogeneous.
Pour the syrup onto the flour and spices. Mix flour and syrup with a spoon or spatula to make a cool dough. If you cannot mix with a spoon, put the dough on the table and knead with your hands until smooth.
Line the baking dish with baking paper. Put the dough in a baking dish, flatten. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges of the gingerbread are slightly dried.
Cool the gingerbread by placing the mold on the wire rack. Remove the paper in which it was baked.
Sprinkle gingerbread with 1 tblsp unsweetened cocoa, wrap in a sheet of baking paper and in foil.