Pre-heat the oven to 150°C (300°F). While you are doing so, put the almonds and the walnuts into the oven for about 10 minutes. Do not mix the nuts as they are treated separately.
Place the citrus peel onto a chopping board.
Roughly chop the peel into irregular bits; anything with the size of 5 to 8 mm (3/16" to 1/3") will do the job. You can also cut some small strips, i.e. 5×5 mm (3/16"x3/16") and 15 mm (5/8") long if you want. Once you have finished, put the peel into a large glass bowl and set aside for few minutes.
Once the walnuts are taken out of the oven (do you remember? they have been put in the oven for about 10 minutes), roughly crash the walnuts (do not reduce to powder), just to quarter their size.
Add the crashed walnuts to the peel.
Add the almonds to the peel and and set aside.
Add all the spices to the flour, including the vanilla seeds you should have removed from the vanilla bean. Give it a good stir so that all the spices are evenly dispersed through the flour. Set aside.
Cut the rice paper sheets to line the bottom and side of your cake tin. I have used a 20 cm (8") diameter cake tin, 4 cm (1 1/2") deep.
I have done the bottom and now I am lining the tin side.
Put the sugar and the honey into a small heavy bottom pan (I have used a sugar pan). Melt everything on a low heat.
You may need to add a tablespoon of water to help through the process.
When the sugar is dissolved and the contents start to bubble (the colour should be pale yellow), we are ready for the next stage.
Add the flour with the spices into the glass bowl.
Give the whole thing a good mix. using a wooden spoon. The flour and the spices should evenly coat the almonds/walnut and peel.
Pour the melted sugar/honey mix into the glass bowl and very quickly start to mix everything together.
The quicker the better because the more you wait and the harder the mix will be to stir. It should really take no more than a minute.
Spread the mix into the cake tin, trying to cover the whole bottom of the tin. Start with the wooden spoon and then use a metal spoon to level the mix.
Once the mix has been levelled, I press down to compact the mix using the bottom of a glass. This is to be sure we are not leaving any empty pockets.
Now, sprinkle a generous layer of flour over the surface.
With the flour it will be easier to pat down and compress the cake a bit more.
Place the cake tin into the oven and bake for 35 minuets at 150°C (300°F). My oven is fan assisted.
After 35 minutes baking, remove the cake tin from the oven.
With a brush, get rid of the flour on the surface. Let the tin cool for a few minutes and then remove the cake from the tin.
The cake will be warm and soft, so don’t poke it with your fingers and handle it with care.
Put the cake onto a wire rack and let it cool down/harden in a dry/cool place, with the top loosely covered with foil, until the next day. If you are in a hurry, like me, once the cake has cooled down a bit, place it (on top of the wire rack) in the fridge for at least 4 hours; it will harden perfectly.
However, the flavours will develop further if you wait for one day before eating it. I feel a bit hypocrite to give this advice because my cake only lasted few hours!
Commercial panforte can last for months but who knows what chemicals they put inside! This is home made with the best ingredients I could find and despite in Italy people talk about keeping it around for one month, I would say that one or two weeks (if it lasts that long!) is a reasonable shelf life if all food hygiene requirements are fully respected.