Saturday, 23 December 2017

Poor Man's Panforte

At the beginning of December, Anon sent me a recipe for leftover mince pies, calling it "Fridge Cake". After last Monday's "Christmas Open House @ The Manse" we had a few pies leftover. I looked at what I had in the cupboard, and realised I didn't have as much chocolate as I thought. So I tweaked the recipe. 
Here's my take on it. It's very rich, so you only need a small slice. 
  1. Line the base of a loose bottomed 15cm cake tin with parchment.
  2. Melt 50g of dark chocolate - I did this in a jug in 10 second bursts in the microwave
  3. Spread this over the base of the tin and put into the fridge to set
  4. In a food processor, pulse 50g chocolate [broken up into squares] three mince pies [cut into quarters] one tablespoon of nuts and the zest of an orange.
  5. Put this mixture in a pyrex bowl, and heat in 10 seconds burst, stirring each time, till melted.
  6. Spread this mix over the chocolate in the tin, press down evenly. Return to fridge.
  7. After an hour, turn out, so the smooth chocolate is on top - cut into 12 segments.
I served it with our after dinner coffee on Thursday, and as dessert, with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream on Friday.  

Bob has declared that these taste infinitely better than the original Mince Pies!
If you go to Siena, they serve Panforte- "strong bread" which is made of dried fruits, spices and cocoa, and baked in the oven. This is much easier, although not quite as satisfyingly chewy as the original. But it still has the spices, dried fruit and cocoa flavours. The nuts give a good crunch, and the zest gives a lovely fresh citrus note. Next time, I am planning to use four mince pies, and skip the chocolate layer altogether- and put the whole 100g bar broken up, into the processor. Then I could tip it all into the tin, and just use the residual heat of a cooling oven to melt the chocolate mix in the tin. If I did it in a rectangular container, I could make petit fours.
As there is always an orange in the fruit bowl, and a few nuts in the pantry, the only things I would need to buy is a bar of chocolate. 30p from Lidl - so the slices are less than 3p each. 
Thankyou Anon, for the inspiration!


  1. It sounds an excellent idea! Thanks for your comment on my blog. Chris and I are currently in Doncaster Royal Infirmary as he fainted on the motorway (luckily we were stationary and a kind couple stopped and drove Chris' car off the motorway) but he's been in overnight and I slept here last night. They are releasing him later and his sister is coming with her husband to drive his car to Northumberland. I'm so grateful that we received help, I was allowed to stay in hospital with him and they are allowing him to leave so it doesn't ruin our Christmas.Xx

    1. Kezzie, this sounds horrendous. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Chris right now. What a blessing the car was stationary and other people were there to help. Hoping your Christmas with family is a good one, despite all this drama xxx

  2. Could have done with your recipe yesterday when I was in the process of making Nigellas Christmas Salami and realised the raw eggs in it would be off limits for a lot of folks at the table so I added an extra egg and some flour and baked it like a cake. It turned out ok but not as great as the original recipe.Might try yours next. Merry Festive Season to you and yours Angela.xoxo


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