With Christmas fast approaching, my thoughts turn to Florence where I lived and worked for several years. “Natale”, as it is known all over Italy, is one of those special celebrations that has it’s own “dolce” or dessert! Two of my favourites are Pandoro and Panettone! They are quite different and both absolutely delicious served with fresh, steaming hot and fragrant coffee no matter what country you’re in! And they’re more versatile than you think…
Because our family loves them, and there are many friends and family visits and visitors in this season, I buy several and often have some left over. This year, in a salute to my favourite place in the world (Florence) I have already brought and we’ve eaten two!! And for those who think that perhaps they might not finish the whole cake, I have a recipe given to me by a lovely friend I worked with at Pierotucci, also named Susan. Her recipe uses pane brioche which can be purchased in the local Coop supermarkets in Florence, but I use these special celebration cakes instead. I’m sure Susan won’t mind me sharing (or adapting) her recipe!
Here it is – please try it: it’s delicious:
150g panettone or pandoro (the panettone gives a sweeter flavour due to the dried fruits)
100ml plain fresh cream
70g regular sugar
100g butter, melted
2 whole eggs
4 egg yolks
A dash of cinammon
Pour in the cream and the milk, stir well and leave for the liquids to soak into the cake. Add the gently melted butter and stir well.
Whip the eggs by hand and slowly mix in the sugar; add to the mixture and mix well. Pour into a lightly greased or non-stick pan and bake in a moderate (160 degree) fan-forced oven for approximately 30 minutes. Cover the cake with kitchen paper and turn down the oven temperature to 140 for a further 10 minutes or when a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Let it cool in the tin; serve with a little extra cream or custard – or it’s wonderful just on it’s own! It’s even better the next day! Store in the fridge.
Special thanks to our Australian corespondent whose creativity is seen in Polyvores and … in this case, tantalizing Holidays desserts that we will never get to taste here in our office . . . but perhaps you will get to enjoy these flavors.