Dark Chocolate Panaforte

This week’s challenge for a contest I participate on instagram … Creating a yummy healthified Italian dessert.


I did a little research on different Italian desserts and I stumbled upon Panaforte! An Italian dessert containing fruits, nuts and a whole lotta sugar … I had to healthify it. Back in 1205 this dessert was actually paid to monks and nuns of a local monastery as a tax or tithe which was due on the 7th of February of that year (source-wiki). This dessert is very decadent, spiced nicely and very sticky!


The final product … keep scrolling for recipe at bottom…


Popping it out of the pan can be tricky but with a knife around the sides and under bottom it came out not too bad.


Cut that baby in half! Success!


Slice it up.


Use parchment or wax paper to keep separated after sliced.



Yield: Makes 1 – 4″ round mini cake (cut into 16 pieces)


•1/2 cup chopped dates
•1/3 cup whole almonds
•1/3 cup shelled pistachios
•1/4 cup spelt flour (or flour of choice)
•2 tsp cacao powder
•30g dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70% cacao – about 4 squares)
•1/4 cup raw honey (use maple syrup or agave for vegan)
•1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
•1 tsp water
•Pinch each cloves, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg (all ground)


1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease mini 4″ springform pan with coconut oil, set aside. If you don’t have mini springform pan you can use small pie dish just make sure to line with parchment paper or grease well.

2. Chop dates and add to medium bowl with nuts, flour and cacao, mix well.

3. Melt chocolate over double boiler or microwave until just melted. Set aside and start honey mixture right away.

4. Mix honey, coconut sugar, water and spices in saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to boil, remove from heat immediately and stir in melted chocolate, mix until well combined. Pour over flour/nut mixture and combine well, things will get sticky. I used metal spoon to incorporate well.

5. Press mixture into prepared dish and press down (may need some parchment) with spoon.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Once chilled place in fridge overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.

7. Remove from pan, using knife down sides and under bottom to get out. Slice immediately (I sliced into 16 pieces). Store in fridge. Use wax or parchment paper to separate as they will stick together.