If you're around an Italian table during the Holidays, there's no doubt you will find a fresh panettone at the centre of it. But this sweet bread – that is traditionally filled with raisins, dried fruits, citrus and/or nuts – is notorious for being gifted and regifted, or simply served to the point of exhaustion. There are over 117 million panettone (and pandoro, their similar cousin) made every year in Italy. Not to mention the Italian bakeries and brands in Canada, the United States, Australia and South American who produce them locally.
Instead of bringing another boxed or bagged cake to your Christmas dinner party, why not wow the guests by levelling up that tired panettone and using it in place of lady finger cookies to make another traditional Italian treat – tiramisu.
Here's how, courtesy of Roma-born, Toronto-based chef Gianluca Ruggieri.
- 1 panettone or pandoro, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
- 250ml (1 cup) strong brewed espresso, cooled
- 250g (12) egg yolks
- 400g (2 cups) sugar
- 1kg (four 8-ounce containers) mascarpone cheese
- Cocoa powder, for dusting
1. Start by making the espresso. Brew it strong and let it cool.
2. In a saucepan, add the sugar and turn the heat on low. Allow the sugar to melt and cook until it reaches a temperature of 118 °C (244.4 °F).
3. While the sugar is melting, start whisking the egg yolks in a separate bowl. Either by hand or on low-speed of a mixer.
4. Once the sugar reaches the desired temperature, slowly pour it into egg yolks while whisking continuously on high speed. Continue whisking until the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow in color.
5. In a large bowl, stir the mascarpone until smooth and add egg yolk mixture and mix it together until well combined.
6. In a serving dish scoop 4-5 large spoonfuls of the mascarpone and egg mixture into the bottom and spread.
7. Brush each slice of panettone with the cooled espresso, making sure to cover each side thoroughly.
8. Layer the soaked panettone slices followed by a generous layer of the mascarpone cream in the dish. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used, ending with a layer of cream on top.
9. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld together.
10. Dust the top with cocoa powder, serve chilled and enjoy!
Will you give this recipe a try? Drop a comment below and buon natale!