There are numerous recipes for Panpepato with slight variations from different corners of Italy. People from Ferrara in Emilia-Romagna have one version, which is said to date back to 1465 when the Duke of Ferrara served a panpepato with gold pieces inserted in each cake. And there are numerous other versions (without the gold) that can be traced back to specific parts of Umbria and Lazio. My recipe for Panpepato is mixture of several other recipes, and it is absolutely irresistible.
150 g raisins
100 ml Marsala wine
150 g almonds
150 g hazelnuts
150 g walnuts
150 g candied orange zest
150 g dark chocolate
1 tsp dark pepper
1 tsb nutmeg
1 tbs cinnamon
300 g honey
300 g flour
Soak the raisins in Marsala
Chop walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts and mix the nuts with candied orange zest, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and crushed cloves.
Chop the chocolate finely or melt it in a water bath and mix it with the nuts.
Add soaked raisins to the mixture along with runny honey (Things go easier it the honey has been heated slightly and has become fluid.)
Work flour into the mixture with your hands. There’s enough flour when the dough is no longer sticky.
Shape the dough into two domes.
Bake the panpepato at 170 C / 350 F for 30 minutes. (It doesn’t have to be all dried out inside.)
Panpepato will keep from Christmas to Epiphany, which is at least 2 weeks, in a cake tin. (If you can leave it alone that long)