Make room for pandoro

A few addresses for a focused buy, with a couple of tips for a sweet complement

Pandoro, the Christmas holiday cake: the one in th

Pandoro, the Christmas holiday cake: the one in the photo is by Iginio Massari (photo taken from Here we suggest some addresses, with two recipes by pastry chef Luca De Santi for a cream to complement the cake

The origin of this delicious cake is contended between those who declare the roots need to be searched for in Austria, in the production of the Vienna Bread, and those who declare, on the contrary, that its ancestor is the Pane de oro served, many centuries ago, at the table of rich people in Venice. Be it Austria or Venice, the true date of birth goes back to 1894 when Domenico Melegatti registered the patent of this typical cake in the shape of a star with eight points, the work of the impressionist painter Angelo Dall'Oca Bianca.

Pasticceria Perbellini's Offella d’oro della Pasticceria Perbellini (

Pasticceria Perbellini's Offella d’oro della Pasticceria Perbellini (

Pandoro is, in all respects, the evolution of Nadalin, another cake from Verona, invented in 1200 to celebrate the first Christmas the Scala family spent in Verona, a sweeter and more compact cake than pandoro, and with a different shape – shorter and irregular, not always as a star. Now artisanal producers in Verona propose pandoro that are true niche artworks, and this is why a stop at Pasticceria Perbellini, – a historic establishment in Isola Rizza and in Bovolone run by the Perbellini family – is a real must. They produce pandoro and the famous Offella d’Oro, a recipe dating back to 1891 and created by Giovanni Battista Perbellini based on a nadalin enriched with butter and eggs and thus softer.

In San Giovanni Lupatoto pandoro must be bought at Daniele Lorenzetti’s Pasticceria Lorenzetti, apart from the excellent pandoro, he produces various kinds of panettone and cakes for festivities all year round. Moving to the province of Vicenza, we stop in Bassano del Grappa at Riccardo Antoniolo’s Ottocento. A lover of sweet and savoury leavened products, not only does he bake a pandoro with Moscovado sugar, but also one with a gianduia icing, or with grappa or torcolato wine.

Focaccia Veneta by Renato Bosco

Focaccia Veneta by Renato Bosco

Talking about institutions, it’s automatic to think of Pasticceria Biasetto in Padua, while an alternative is given by Renato Bosco at Saporè in San Martino Buon Albergo (Verona) with his Venetian focaccia, the ancient fugassa, with less butter than pandoro, but also without candied fruit or raisins, while in Brescia you can visit Iginio Massari’s Pasticceria Veneto and taste the Bussolà, a traditional cake from Brescia, in the shape of a doughnut..

Going back to the cream to complement the cake, here are two ideas by pastry chef Luca De Santi:

Yoghurt and clementine cremoso sauce

Ingredients for 8 people
5 egg whites
50 g of sugar
1 g of salt
130 g of clementine juice
7,5 g of gelatine sheet
150 g of Greek yoghurt
100 g of white chocolate
grated rind of 3 clementines

First of all, put the gelatine sheet into some cold water until it is re-hydrated and soft (about 10-15 minutes). In the meantime, cook the egg whites mixed with the sugar, the salt and the juice of clementines on a bain-marie. When the egg yolk starts to coagulate, remove from the heat, add the white chocolate and blend finely, until the mixture is smooth. Carefully squeeze the gelatine sheet, add it to the mixture and mix well, add the yoghurt and mix for another few seconds, cover and let it cool down quickly. Once cold, add the grated rind of the clementines.

Pomegranate gelatine

Ingredients for 4 people
200 g of pomegranate juice
40 g of sugar
2 g of gelatine sheet

Put the gelatine sheet into cold water until it is re-hydrated and soft (about 10-15 minutes). Meanwhile, bring 50 g of juice and the sugar to the boil, add the squeezed gelatine sheet and the remaining juice and leave to cool in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours.




Previews, personalities and establishments in the sweet side of the food planet