Celebrate Tuscany with a slice of Panforte.

From the culinary tradition of Siena, the Panforte cake has sweetened the palate of tuscans for many centuries and it is still a hit among italians, be it because of its very enticing flavor and unique texture or because it’s an entirely vegetable rich cake, it’s always ‘festa’ when you have a slice of it!

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Here our recipe:

Ingredients
– 200 gr icing sugar
– 150 gr chestnut or acacia honey
– 150 gr white flour
– 250 gr almonds
– 100 gr candied orange skin
– 100 gr candied citron skin
– 2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– A sheet of rice paper
Toast almonds in the oven at 180 °C for about 6 minutes then chop them coarsely and put them in a large bowl with chopped candied fruits, flour and spices.
Over low fire in a small saucepan mix honey and 150 gr of sugar and cook for a few minutes until you get a golden syrup.
Pour the syrup in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Line the inside of a round baking tray (20-22 cm) with the rice paper and scoop in the mix, flatten the top and sprinkle with half of the remaining icing sugar.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 160 °C for 30 minutes, once out of the oven remove from the tray when it’s still a little warm, let it cool completely, give it a final sprinkle of icing sugar, slice it and enjoy!

 

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Get your slice of tuscan bischeri pie and all is well!

This recipe made of short crust pastry basket filled with chocolate, rice, raisins and pine nuts comes from the culinary tradition of the Pisa area, and the bischeri are the name of the pastry tips that stick out from the cake. Original recipe was started in the Valdiserchio area and used for celebration days or local catholic festivities because its richness of flavourful aromas and fullness of taste made everybody cheerful.

This is the version we make at home.

Ingredients for the dough:

300 gr of flour

250 gr of sugar

70 gr of melted butter

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

¼ lemon zest

1 tablespoon orange juice

20 gr of Strega liqueur (or rhum)

In a bowl mix all the above ingredients and work until a firm ball of dough is formed, then wrap it in aluminum foil and let it rest for at least an hour in the fridge.

Meanwhile prepare the filling with the following ingredients:

100 gr of dark chocolate

70 gr of short grain rice

150 gr of milk

30 gr of cocoa powder

150 gr of sugar

60 gr of candied cedar

60 gr of candied orange

40 gr of pine nuts

40 gr of raisins (pre-soaked in warm water)

½ teaspoon of grated nutmeg

1 large egg

Boil the rice in milk until well cooked, turn off the heat, discard any excess of liquid and add the dark chocolate in small chunks, mix until the chocolate is all melted and let it cool completely.

In a bowl add to the rice-chocolate mix all the rest of ingredients, stir well and set aside.

Pre-heat oven at 180°. Retrieve the dough from the fridge and split it in 2 pieces, the larger should be about 2 thirds of the whole pastry, roll this out in a large dish that has to cover bottom and sides of a baking pan, previously folded with non-stick paper foil, allowing some pastry to go a little over the pan edge. Now do some oblique cuts on the edge of the pastry at regular distance, and bend the cut part to form little triangles.

Spread evenly all the filling into the dough surface, and with the remaining dough rolled out cut in 2 cm strips, create a grid on top of the filling.

Bake for 50 minutes, remove from the oven and let it cool, Buon Appetito.