panpepato - the 5 days of candies - xmas 2013

Whenever I’m invited to dinner I like to bring something homemade for dessert. One time when rushed, I went to the Paddington Markets and came home with some Panpepato. Panpepato is a spicy version of Panforte and it was delicious and I’ve been meaning to make it ever since.

This was one of the 2 recipes from Christmas week that gave me grief. The first Panpepato recipe I tried was a disaster and failed to set. I remade the Panpepato adapting it from Belinda Jeffrey’s Panforte recipe from Mix and Bake. 

Although the Panpepato tasted delicious, the texture wasn’t anything like the firm texture I remembered but I’m sure an extra ¼ cup of flour would solve that problem. 

You can use any combination of fruit and nuts but this is what I used – a combination of roasted hazelnuts, almonds, plumped raisins, figs and some homemade candied peel. The combination of cocoa, spices and the fruit and nuts makes for quite a dark, complex and adult flavour.

Pan Pepato - adapted from Belinda Jeffery’s Mix and Bake 

Edible rice paper or baking paper, for lining
75g (½ cup)  plain flour
50g Dutch-processed cocoa, sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup raisins soaked overnight in ¼ cup boiling water
100g dried figs, coarsely chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped candied orange peel
100g roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
100g skinned roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
100g walnuts, coarsely chopped
60g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
150g honey
icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Butter a shallow 22cm round cake tin and line the base and sides with edible rice paper or baking paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa and the spices. Add the figs, the drained raisins, the fruit and nuts and mix them thoroughly together.

Put the butter, sugar and honey into a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir until the sugar has just dissolved, then stop stirring and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture reaches 120°C on a sugar thermometer (soft ball stage) then pour the hot syrup over the fruit and nut mixture. Quickly mix together until well combined. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and use the back of a spoon to press down and flatten it out evenly. I packed the mixture into the tin using my hands.
Bake the pan pepato at 180°C/350°F for 30 – 45 minutes. The top of the mixture should feel spongy and ‘just dry’ to the touch when tested but will firm up a little as it cools.

Cool the pan pepato in the tin on a wire rack. Once it’s cool, turn the pan pepato out and remove any baking paper. Rice paper is edible and can stay put, just trim it if it sits up above the edge of the pan pepato.

If serving immediately, dust the pan pepato with icing sugar and cut into narrow wedges. Otherwise, tightly wrap any leftover pan pepato in plastic film and foil (or put it in an airtight container) and store it in the fridge, where it will keep for weeks.

See you all tomorrow for Day 3 of Christmas week.

Bye for now,


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