The oldest and most noble Christmas cake is called Panforte
In Siena the Christmas cake that is a must is called Panforte born as peppered bread to give energy it became a noble cake in honour of Queen Margherita
Without panforte Christmas would not be Christmas for Donatella Cinelli Colombini!
The old tradition of this Christmas cake from Siena goes back about a 1000 years . The name PanForte (Panes Fortis) came from the fact that the water in the fruit used to make the cake, kept it soft but at the same time gave origin to moulds which gave and acidic taste to the cake as well.
In 1505 the Panforte began to be a great success thanks Sister Berta, who, worried about the health of the soldiers. She modified the recipe so that is might become energetic for the body and spirit, adding an abundant dose of pepper (Pan Pepato)
During the years the Panforte has not been changed much until 1879 when Queen Margherita di Savoia came to visit the Palio city. Her visit was anticipated by an inspection by her chamberlain who also had the job of choosing the dishes for the “royal palate”. He had a more delicate version prepared for her eliminating the melon and substituting the pepper covering with icing sugar. That is how the Panforte Margherita was born
At Fattoria del Colle the panforte is prepared by the pateisseur and served freshly baked during the Christmas holidays and most of all during the New Years Eve dinner. Hopefully we can soon get back to normal in 2021!
INGREDIENTS FOR PANFORTE
600 g of candied orange and cedar, 300 g of almonds and 200 g of toasted hazelnuts, 200 g of acacia honey, 150 g of sugar, 3 eggs, 100 g of vanilla sugar, 5 dried figs, 150 g of flour, 30 g of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, greaseproof paper and hosts (to be bought in a chemists)