Christmas Chocolate, California Walnut & Apricot Panforte

Richer than a very rich thing and more chocolatey than a Cadbury’s production line, this sublime panforte by GBBO finalist Ruby Bhogal is an absolute mus…

Christmas Chocolate Walnut Panforte

Ruby Bhogal wowed viewers of The Great British Bake Off on her way to the final in 2018 with her technical skill, creativity and ability to deliver absolutely stunning bakes. Luckily for us – and you – Ruby has sent in a recipe that ticks all the right boxes for a sweet treat at this time of year; a luxuriously rich, nutty Christmas Chocolate, California Walnut & Apricot Panforte.


  • 150g California Walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 150g Chopped Dried Apricots
  • 100g Chopped Dates
  • 100g Mixed peel
  • 100g Dark Chocolate
  • 75g plain Flour
  • 2tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 1tsp All Spice
  • 1tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1tsp Vanilla Bean paste
  • 155g Honey
  • 100g Golden Syrup
  • 70g Unsalted Butter, diced
  • 50g Light Brown Sugar
  • Amaretto Liquor, to soak
  • Icing Sugar, for dusting


Place the chopped apricots and dates into a bowl and pour in enough Amaretto Liquor to cover. Allow to soak for approx. 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 140°C/Fan 120°C and lightly grease and line an 8inch springform tin. Leave to one side.

Place the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place on top of a saucepan of simmering water. Allow to fully melt and then take off the heat and allow to lightly cool.

In another bowl, sift in the Plain Flour, Cocoa Powder, All Spice and Cinnamon Powder and stir. Add in the Californian Walnuts, Mixed Peel and Vanilla Bean Paste and stir again. Drain the Amaretto soaked Apricots and Dates (but be sure to keep the remaining drained liquor for later!). Add into the bowl and mix well.

Into a saucepan, add in the Honey, Golden Syrup, diced Butter and Sugar and place over a high heat. Once the butter and sugar have melted, bring to boil for approx. 5 mins or until it has reached 118°C (‘Soft Ball’ stage) on a thermometer.

Once reached, take off the heat and gently pour into the bowl of mixed flour and fruit. Stir well. Add in the cooled melted chocolate and fold in until combined.

Pour in the mixture into the lined tin and level out with a spatula. Pop into the oven for approx. 50 mins on a middle shelf

Remove from the oven, place the tin on a cooling rack and allow to completely chill before removing (2 hours should be good!). Gently remove from the tin.

Use a pastry brush to lightly brush over some of the drained liquor on top and then dust lightly with a sprinkling of icing sugar to finish



This recipe was created by Ruby Bhogal for California Walnuts.
Last modified: March 2, 2021

Written by 9:59 am Food & Drink