To my Italian’s Panettone is like a box of chocolates would be to my family, you bring it when your told not to bring anything.
If you have never heard of this before which I hadn’t either, to give you the run down. The bready cake comes in a square tall box and was first made in the region of Milan, Italy. It is usually eaten at Christmas and is considered as a poor man’s dessert because it was originally made from leftover bread and dried fruit. It is a light, soft, shreddy, rich, flavorful bread, speckled with candied orange, citron, raisins and lemon zest. The cake is usually eaten with coffee or dipped in a sweet dessert wine called Vin Santo (holy wine) after dinner.
Recently Mamma had been given quite a few from friends, she was getting bothered by them being in her cupboard. Not because they were going to go off, they last forever. But because she didn’t have any other use for them apart from eating with coffee and the family were getting a little bit tired of having it. I told Mamma I would take one home as I wasn’t sick of them yet she was very happy to part with it.
I happened to come across a recipe in one of my favourite Italian cook books ‘Two Greedy Italians’ by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo and they use a whole Panettone in a dessert. So I attempted to make it for family dinner next week.
The ‘Two Greedy Italians’ recipe for Zuccotto Di Panettone (Panettone and ricotta pudding) was easy to follow and quite quick to make. My only suggestions to the recipe would be to-
* Make it the night before I find it sets better and all the Vin Santo has absorbed into the bread.
*Turn it out of the bowl just before you are ready to eat it. After a while out of the bowl it starts to lose its form.
*For the candied fruit I used dried pawpaw and candied citrus.
* I added a little extra (30g each) choc chips and almonds to the ricotta mix as there seemed to little for the amount of ricotta.
Mamma and the family devoured the pudding, you know you have made something good when u barely get a chance to get a piece. They were very impressed with the dish so much, that Mamma has given me more Panettone so I can make it again and bring it to the next family function.