Gino's Italian Express

Gino's Panforte

This traditional fruity and nutty dessert is a thicker and chewier version of a Florentine. The Tuscan treat goes wonderfully with a coffee at the end of a meal.

Serves 8–10


Oil for greasing310g dark chocolate (40%)4 large egg whites4 tablespoons maple syrup225g ground almonds75g raw blanched hazelnuts70g walnut halves70g whole blanched almonds75g candied peel, roughly chopped 4 tablespoons orange liqueur (e.g.Cointreau)1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper Icing sugar, sifted, for dusting


  • Grease a deep, loose-bottomed round cake tin, 23cm diameter, with oil and line with cling film. Set aside.

  • Break the chocolate into a large heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. The base of the bowl should not touch the water. Leave until just melted. Remove the pan from the heat, stir and leave the chocolate to cool slightly. Alternatively, melt the mixture in the microwave on high in short bursts, stirring in between.

  • Put the egg whites in another large bowl and whisk using a balloon whisk until frothy – stop before they form stiff peaks. Pour in the maple syrup and whisk again.

  • Using a metal spoon or flexible spatula, gently fold in the ground almonds to form a paste, then the remaining nuts, the candied peel, Cointreau and spices. Finally, fold the melted chocolate.

  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, cover with cling film and chill for at least 3 hours or until set.

  • Turn out onto a serving plate, remove the cling film and dust with icing sugar.

The recipes are all taken from Gino's new book - click here for more information.

Gino's Italian Express