A new energy bar for cycling is a perfect snack when you need energy. This energy bar recipe is non-dairy and gluten-free and super easy to try your variation of nuts, dried fruit and spices. Make sure to add a hint of citrus, spice. This recipe is inspired by the Italian Tuscan recipes of panforte, a traditional fruit and nut rich cake made in Sienna by the monks of the time.

Traditionally made in a round shape and cut into wedges, however, I have made them square for ease of cutting into bars. In our house, we think this recipe comes close to a store-bought expensive energy bar. Adding the bonus hint of edible rice paper to the base ensures that it doesn’t stick when baking or to your wrapper when eating.

The bars can be wrapped in parchment, then over-wrapped in foil and stored for up to two months at room temperature. If you are making the panforte to give away as Christmas gifts, layer the cut wedges between parchment in gift boxes or bags. Don't forget to attach a label with storage instructions and an eat-by-date.
It is a perfect pick me up sweet treat and in our family, a perfect snack for cycling or post work out. The zing of spices and chocolate texture is easy to eat as a snack.

The bars can be wrapped in parchment, then over-wrapped in foil and stored for up to two months at room temperature. If you are making the panforte to give away as Christmas gifts, layer the cut wedges between parchment in gift boxes or bags. Don't forget to attach a label with storage instructions and an eat-by-date.

Takes = 15 mins
Bakes = 30 mins
Makes = 12-16 bars
Keeps = store 3-4 weeks in an airtight container

Ingredients

  • Dried Fruit (dates, figs or your choice) – 350g (2 cups)
  • Roasted nuts (pistachios, walnuts, almonds or your choice) – 240g (2 cups)
  • Ground almonds – 50g (1/2 cup)
  • Cocoa powder sifted– 40g (6 tbsp)
  • Tapioca flour  – 20g (3 tbsp)
  • Orange or Lemon zest – 1 tsp
  • Mixed spice – 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 2 tsp
  • White Sugar – 200g (1 cup)
  • Liquid Sweetener like Honey, Agave syrup, Rice Syrup – 150ml (1/2 cup)
  • Water – 1 tbsp
  • Optional – Pinch cayenne pepper or paprika
  • Optional – dark chocolate chunks

Method

  1. PREHEAT oven 150˚C
  2. TOAST nuts for 5-1o minutes and chop roughly then set aside to cool.
  3. PREPARE  square or rectangular slice tin greased and lined with baking paper. For ease I add edible paper to the base of the baking tin.
  4. WHISK flour, spices, cocoa powder and nuts together in a large bowl.
  5. CHOP fruit into small pieces and then place into the bowl with the flour.
  6. HEAT and bring to a gentle boil water, liquid sweetener and sugar until dissolved and small bubbles are appearing 3-4mins.
  7. QUICKLY pour over hot liquid into bowl flour and nut mixture and stir until combined. The liquid should be thick and sticky not too runny.
  8. POUR and spoon into your baking tin and press down firmly. You may need to wet your hands and to do this step or wet a large metal spoon.
  9. BAKE 25-30 minutes, be careful not to over-bake.
  10. COOL for 10 minutes before removing from the tin.
  11. COOL completely before slicing. I like making my into 40g bars for cycling energy and snack bars. I cut my square 6 x 4 = 24 pieces. To wrap them I cover in a small piece of baking paper, then a layer of aluminium foil. Watch the video tutorial to see step by step.

Sue Maree P Baking Tips

  • SPICES – in the traditional recipes they included 1 teaspoon of black pepper  or a pinch of chilli powder or cayenne pepper.
  • THICKNESS should be about 1 inch (2.5cm) thick
  • ADD ground cinnamon to your hands when you are pressing into the tin as an option instead of wetting them.