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.