Michelle Darmody: It's the time of the year for Panettone

Michelle Darmody: It's the time of the year for Panettone

Almost every year, at about this time, loaves of beautifully packaged Panettone start appearing in delicatessen shops.

They make great gifts, as they are pretty and quite reasonably priced.

I enjoy a few slices, but often do not finish a whole loaf as they dry out fairly quickly. I have created a few desserts with the leftovers. You do not have to specifically use Panettone in these recipes, brioche would also do, or even some crusty white bread will make a good substitution.

Panettone originates from the north of Italy. It is a yeasted sweet bread containing dried fruit and peel and is traditionally only baked during the Christmas and New Year season.

The tin used to bake a Panettone is tall and cylindrical and the bread rises above it , creating, what is called, a cupola shape.

It is generally cut into wedges when serving and is accompanied with a hot sweet drink or a glass of dessert wine.

If you do not want to go to the trouble of assembling one of the dessert listed you can use your leftovers for French toast or to make some pan seared chocolate sandwiches.

The Panettone Tiramisu is rich and creamy and a little goes a long way. I use Marsala wine as it is the most traditional choice in Italy but you can use brandy or a coffee liqueur such as Tia Maria.

Panettone tiramisu

Ingredients:

200ml of strong coffee

75mls of a sweet wine, such as marsala

240g of thick, finger-shaped slices of panettone

550mls of cream

250g of mascarpone

60g of golden caster sugar

30g of dark chocolate, finely grated

2 tsp of cocoa powder

Michelle Darmody: It's the time of the year for Panettone

Method:

Mix the coffee and marsala together and place the panettone slices into it. Set aside to soak.

Whip the cream, sugar and mascarpone together until they are light.

Lay a layer of the panettone into the base of a rectangular dish.

Scoop half of the mascarpone mixture on top and smooth it out.

Sprinkle three quarters of the chocolate on top.

Lay another layer of panettone, then mascarpone and smooth this out.

Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate and then sieve the cocoa powder on top.

Place into the fridge until eating time.

Panettone and butter pudding

Ingredients:

3 eggs and an extra yolk

3 tbs of muscovado sugar

250mls of milk

300mls of cream

2 tsp of vanilla extract

The zest of 3 oranges

10 slices of panettone

30g of soft butter

Michelle Darmody: It's the time of the year for Panettone

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and butter an oven proof dish — I use one that is 8 x 10 inches.

Whisk the eggs, yolk and sugar in a large bowl until it has doubled in volume. Set aside.

Heat the milk, cream and vanilla until it is just about shivering.

Slowly whisk the cream into the egg mixture. Stir in the orange zest.

Butter each side of the panettone slices. Lay the panettone into your dish, pour the egg and cream mixture over them.

Leave it to soak in for a half an hour then bake for about 40 minutes, until golden on top.

Apple and panettone pudding

Ingredients:

450g of diced chopped apple

50g of raisins

2 tbsp of muscovado sugar

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

The zest of 2 oranges and 2 tbsp of juice

6 slices of panettone

20g of soft butter

2 tbsp of demerara sugar

Method:

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees.

Stir the apple, raisins, sugar, cinnamon, zest and juice together. Heat gently in a saucepan with a lid on until bubbling gently, cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.

Butter each side of the slices of panettone.

Scoop the stewed apple mixture into the dish. Lay the buttered slices on top, overlapping as needed. Sprinkle the demerara sugar on top. Cover the dish.

Bake for 10 minutes covered, remove the cover and bake for a further five/10 minutes until golden.

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