Panpepato (Spicy Chocolate-flavored Christmas Bread)
This is the delicious and moist Italian answer to English and American fruitcakes.
  1. Soak the raisins in warm water to cover 30 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry.
  2. Chop the raisins together the walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds. In a big bowl mix the chopped nuts, raisins, chocolate, candied orange peel, and espresso coffee.
  3. Melt the honey in 2-3 tablespoons water. Mix it and the mosso cotto well into the nut mixture. Add the nutmeg, zest, salt, and pepper. Reserve 2-3 tablespoons of the flour and add the rest, a bit at a time, mixing with a rubber spatula and using only enough to get the mixture to hold together. It isn’t a dough.
  4. Divide into 6 equal balls. Flour the work surface very lightly and incorporate the reserved flour into the mixture. Roll each piece into a round that looks like a hamburger patty. Set on a buttered and floured baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F. until firm, 15 minutes. Brush the top of each with a little of the syrup from the candied oranges, melted apricot jam, or with a little cooked mosso cotto if you have it. Continue to bake another 5 minutes. Let cool briefly and sieve confectioner’s sugar over the tops.
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