Sweet panettone

After pandoro, here are a few ideas for panettone. To be eaten with the right complement

A few tips for buying a good panettone, with two s

A few tips for buying a good panettone, with two suggestions by pastry chef Luca De Santi for a cream to complement this cake (opening photo by Lucca Cantarin)

After a journey focused on pandoro, it’s now the turn of panettone: everyone knows it is originally from Lombardy, in particular from Milan, but it is now produced brilliantly all over the country. This is because the lure of the “challenge” of a perfect leavening is increasingly stronger and more motivating for pastry chefs. In the words of Lucca Cantarin, young talent of Pasticceria Marisa in Arsego di San Giorgio delle Pertiche (Padua) and winner of the prize for the “Best Venetian Panettone” in 2011, “panettone is like a woman: you need to woo it when it is leavening; then you cuddle it like a child during the baby bath, until it bursts in the oven in all its abundance of scents and flavours”. We can understand why the challenge is more and more thrilling.

Andrea Besuschio, his pastryshop is in Abbiategrasso (Milan)

Andrea Besuschio, his pastryshop is in Abbiategrasso (Milan)

Wandering around Italy, from North to South, here are some ideas for some excellent buys: for a 3 Michelin star panettone you can go to Massimiliano Alajmo in Rubano (Padua) who bakes it with extra virgin olive oil, and Enrico e Roberto Cerea the brothers from Brusaporto (Bergamo). In the panettone’s hometown, you can count on the perfect kneading hands of Andrea Besuschio of the homonymous pastry-shop in Abbiategrasso (Milan), while right in the centre of town you can taste the first production of Pavèa new pastry-shop with workshop in view in via Felice Casati, for both a traditional and a chocolate and cacao beans version. Moving to Veneto, one stop needs to be made in San Martino Buon Albergo (Verona) at Renato Bosco's a master of pizza and leavened products, at Loison in Costabissara (Vicenza), a historic establishment, at Francesco Ballico’s Il Chiosco in Lonigo (Vicenza) and at young Lucca Cantarin in the province of Padua, who prefers to create a not too sweet panettone, deep yellow in colour, both in the classic version, and in the one with gianduia, chocolate and orange or figs and apricot..

In Bagnolo Mella (Brescia) a visit to Sirani is a must, and not only for panettone. Moving towards the capital, you can stop at Iside De Cesare's La Parolina in Acquapendente (Viterbo), where she produces one hundred or so “Parlottoni” (this is the name) with raisins from Corinth, available for the clients of the restaurant wishing to buy it; in Rome you should stop at Cristalli di Zucchero while in Caserta the panettoni are those made by Rosanna Marzialefrom the classic version to that with beer. And then there’s Niko Romito who, in his new establishment in Castel di Sangro in the province of L’Aquila, bakes limited edition panettoni and then mails them to your house (for info and bookings info@casadonna.it). Finally, moving further South, we arrive in Taurisano (Lecce) and find the panettone made at Caffè Italia, rthe kingdom of the Protopapa family.

These are the two recipes by pastry chef Luca De Santi for two creams to complement a slice of panettone:

Luca De Santi, pastry chef and consultant

Luca De Santi, pastry chef and consultant

Whipped cream with mascarpone and ginger

Ingredients for 4 people
150 g of cream
20 g of icing sugar
170 g of mascarpone
10 g of candied ginger (suggested quantity, increase or diminish to taste)

Mix the cream with the sugar and mascarpone and whip with an electric whisk until you obtain a creamy texture (don’t whip too much or you’ll get a granitic effect). Afterwards, add the ginger cut into pieces, mix and serve.

Chocolate cremoso sauce

Ingredients for 4 people
40 g of egg yolks
20 g of sugar
50 g of milk
150 g of cream
85 g of milk chocolate or 75 g of dark chocolate

With a whisk, finely mix the egg yolks and sugar. Bring the milk and cream to the boil and gradually pour them on the egg yolks, diluting them. Bring the mixture to 82°C, then remove from the heat, add the chocolate and quickly cool down.




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