We are nearly there, only two more sleeps until Christmas Day. After a busy few weeks wrapping up work projects, filing my tax return and testing Christmas recipes, I am ready now for a few days of rest! I just need to finish packing up my bags and I’ll be off to Italy to celebrate the holidays with my family.
One of the seasonal desserts I made this week as these pretty and delicious mini Panettone cakes. Why not give this recipe a try over the weekend? They are lovely for breakfast with a nice cup of tea or coffee!
Panettone is an Italian sweet bread loaf originally from Milan and traditionally eaten all over Italy at Christmas time.
The dough is dotted with raisins and candied fruit, then left to prove over a couple of days to achieve a light-as-air texture. Because of the long preparation, nobody really makes panettone at home anymore. It’s tastier when bought from a good-quality bakery (in London you can find delicious ones from Daylesford or Lina Stores).
While I am not ready yet to challenge myself with baking a real-sized Panettone, this season I decided to attempt making mini Panettone. They are easier to bake than the real deal.
These mini cakes taste like Panettone, while the texture resembles that of sweet muffins.
My husband expressed the wish of eating Panettone with chocolate instead of raisins and candied fruit, but I think that when you buy Panettone you should stick to the traditional flavours!
For the mini Panettone though I used chocolate chips (a mix of white and milk). I also sprinkled peeled almonds and pearl sugar on top, which is how to decorate Easter colomba cake in Italy. I like to be controversial like that! ;)
Feel free to use your favourite filling and toppings when you make these mini Panettone cakes!
For the topping
Pour warm water into a bowl, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of yeast. Stir with a fork until yeast has dissolved, then let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in 50g flour, and cover bowl with cling film. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.
Pour warm milk into another small bowl, and sprinkle the other teaspoon of yeast. Stir with a fork until yeast has dissolved, then let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla. Whisk in milk mixture.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and remaining flour with a mixer on medium speed until mixture is crumbly. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add egg mixture. Raise speed to medium, and beat until smooth.
Add yeast-and-flour mixture, and beat on high speed until dough is elastic and long strands form when it’s stretched, about 5 minutes. Grate the orange and lemon zest into the bowl. Stir in dried fruits, candied peel and chocolate chips.
Transfer the cake mix to a greased bowl, and cover with cling film. Let dough stand in a warm place for about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200℃. Pour the cake mixture into the mini panettone paper molds (filling 2/3). Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180℃ degrees, and bake until tops are golden brown and rise slightly above rims of molds, about 20 minutes. Transfer panettone to a wire rack to cool.
The Panettone can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Weddings.