A Christmas cake from the regions of Umbria and Emilia Romagna, known for its mix of sweet and spicy flavors which mix together for a cozy holiday treat. Prepared with chocolate, honey, dried fruit and black pepper, here is the traditional recipe to make right at home.
Ingredients for four medium-sized Panpepato cakes:
Toast the dried fruit in the oven so that you can easily peel off the skin. Boil the orange peels (without the white part) and the sugar in the wine, so that the skins become similar to candied fruit.
Put the dark chocolate in a bain-marie and melt it. Melt the honey the same way. Pour the dried fruit, boiled wine, orange peels cut into small pieces, raisins, cinnamon, melted dark chocolate and pepper into a bowl and start stirring with your hands. Add the honey and flour as you mix to form a compact and homogeneous dough. Leave the dough to rest overnight covered with a cloth.
The next morning, turn the oven on at 180° to heat it. Uncover the dough and work it quickly to form medium sized domes by wetting your hands continuously to prevent the dough from sticking and becoming unworkable. Sprinkle a little flour on the baking trays previously covered with baking paper and lay the domes on them. Bake the cakes in a very low oven, maximum 100°, for at least 1 hour. They will be ready when they are golden and compact.