Panettone Pandoro Chocolate Tiramisu

  • Time: 1 hour and a half
  • Serves: 8
  • Level: medium

In today’s heady world of culinary blogging, gastronomic invention and viral food trends – leftover panettones are an ideal source of new recipe ideas!

Mr WDC
Tiramisu is everybody's favourite pudding. Here's a great adaptation using leftover panettone.

What you need

For the panettone

1 x 500g pandora panettone

 

For the custard sauce

250g mascarpone

300ml store-bought custard

OR

500ml whole milk

6 large eggs – yolks only

100g sugar

1tsp corn starch (optional)

 

For the chocolate sauce

200ml water

150ml single cream

45g cocoa

70g dark chocolate

60g sugar

 

For the topping

250ml double cream

50ml grated dark chocolate



Dad's Recipe Tales

The unwanted panettone

There are many reasons why a household might have a glut of panettones: they are very popular to give as Christmas gifts, so it wouldn’t be surprising if two or three were left surplus to requirements; though it is hard to imagine, not everybody likes panettone; and finally there’re some dodgy brands that arrive already dry at Christmastime. In today’s heady world of culinary blogging, gastronomic invention and viral food trends, these leftover panettones become an ideal starting point for a foodie’s experimental aspirations.

Gilding the lily

A classic traditional panettone is in generally regarded to be an ideal balance of flavour, sweetness and texture, some traditional cakes come with an option for extra sweetness and have a ‘glassato’ topping of pearled sugar and nuts, but otherwise the cake is perfect as it is. However, most commercial panettone bakers have decided that something this good can still be improved upon and produce luxury versions that include chocolate or vanilla crème, or that are flavoured with wine and liqueur. So when devising new recipes with panettone, it’s reasonable to assume that the cake compliments these ingredients. I tried my chocolate tiramisu recipe using a standard cake laden with dried fruit. It was extremely rich. Clearly, adding sweetened chocolate, eggs and mascarpone to an already rich cake is over-kill. The workaround is to make a less rich layered pudding using panettone, chocolate ganache and whipped cream. Alternatively, use leftover or dried out panettone in a bread and butter pudding (where dried fruit is integral to the recipe). Follow any recipe for bread and butter pudding, cutting back on the butter and fruit.

A Pandoro tiramisu

I had deduced that a standard fruit panettone is too rich in a tiramisu based pudding. However, determined to find a tiramisu solution I switched the panettone to a pandoro or ‘golden bread’ version. It’s plain (without fruit) and generally not as rich as standard panettone. It takes the chocolate and crème flavours well. My recipe uses a thicker chocolate sauce to avoid excess soggyness, so it might be more posh trifle than true tiramisu – but I reckon it’s all the better for it.

How Dad Cooked It

The structure of a tiramisu is a series of layers of wet, but not mushy, biscuit with a layer of thick mixed mascarpone, eggs and sugar. You can use Savoiardi  ‘lady fingers’ or the same type of biscuit made by Pavesi. Both are ‘low density’ i.e. full of air, but they have a hard, dry and rigid structure. This allows them to be drenched, typically, in black coffee and liqueur for a traditional tiramisu. The raw egg and sugar stabilise the mascarpone to form a more solid layer of cream. By all means use these biscuits instead for this recipe (though make the chocolate sauce more liquid with additional water). My idea came from an Italian relative who makes a tiramisu with chocolate instead of coffee for children. However, the raw egg concerns me, so I made a fundamental shift in method by using a crème anglais, which contains cooked egg. The extra viscosity of the chocolate combined with the extra thinness of the cream layers, gives the pudding the quality of a refined trifle. But I stand by my guns and present this as a passable alternative tiramisu.

Equipment: 2ocm x 28cm dish – at least 6cm deep

  1. Cut and dry the pandora. Cut the pandora into slices about 15mm deep. Drying is optional (I am trying to replicate the texture of ‘old and dried-out’ panettone or the dry and crisp quality of a lady finger). To dry the panettone put the slices on the middle racks in an oven set to the lowest temperature. Heat for an 45 minutes to and hour – then let the bread air in the oven with the heat off for another hour. We are trying to make the bread stale, rather than turn it to toast. NB: You may not need all the slices depending on the size of your dish.
  2. Make the crème anglais (if using). Beat the egg yolks with the sugar. (If using cornstarch mix with a little cold milk and add to the milk during the next stage.) In a thick bottomed pan, heat the milk to just below a simmer and pour into the egg mix, continuing to whisk as you pour. Return the mix to the pan and heat on a very low heat (ideally with a heat diffuser – or use a bain marie). Stir with a flat wooden spatula until the custard thickens – this takes quite a while and needs patience and constant stirring. Cool completely.
  3. Make the chocolate sauce. Put all the ingredients at once into a heavy bottomed pan and heat very gently. Whisk to combine and form a smooth thin sauce.
  4. Make the custard sauce. Whisk the store bought or crème anglais into the mascarpone to make a smooth thick custard.
  5. Build the tiramisu. (It is worth doing a trial run with uncoated pandora so number of layers can be judged. Calculate the layers and allow sufficient custard to cover each layer.) Start by pouring a little of the custard sauce on the bottom of the dish to make an even thin layer. Put the chocolate sauce in a suitable dish for dipping. Dip the pandora in the sauce on all the top and bottom and ensure that it has time to soak into the cake a little. Layer the pandora in the dish to make a complete layer – filling in gaps if necessary. Pour over some of the custard mix on top of the pandora. Repeat the process until the tiramisu is built up.
  6. Finish the tiramisu. Whip the cream for the topping and sprinkle over the grated chocolate. It will benefit from a few hours in the refrigerator before serving.

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