Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Panettone and Pandoro: Confectionery Adventure

Milano's Classic Christmas Cake!

 Panettone is a tall, cylindrical, fruit-filled sweet bread from Milan which has become an essential part of their  Christmas season, and has been mine as well for years now.    Just like how we treat Fruit Cake here in the Philippines, it has been Italian's custom to gift it.   In these case, my parents had their share or shares, yip. Good-natured Filipinos liked by Italians as workers and neighbor, often receive abundance, it doesn't benefit them though because both my parents are diabetics.   So I am the one benefiting, they send them all to me...I'm so blessed!
 In olden Italian times, they make it  two months in advance, wrap it tightly in heavy-duty foil and freeze it.  Since the bread-making begins with a starter dough,  or sponge, and requires a long rising time, it was best done beginning  the process in the evening before baking or early in the day.

There are many variations of a romantic legend
about the origins of panettone.  Supposedly, there
was a Milanese baker named  Toni who had a beautiful daughter.  A youngman   who worked for Toni wanted to marry this daughter.  In an attempt to win the father's approval, the young man created a special sweet bread filled with fruits and other rich ingredients.  The bread made Toni's bakery famous.  People began to call the bread "pan ad Toni" or Toni's bread.    Toni became wealthy and, needless to    say,  allowed the  young man to marry his daughter.

Let me tell you why I love this bread or cake,  first, it's always wrapped or boxed elegantly.  Second, when you open the box, you right away would smell the extract of the vanilla and the beautiful, citrusy scent and the mix of a very good wine.   MMM...magical.   Third,   the round loaf sits on a decorative paper mold.   Fourth, slicing it is dreamy, you can see the candied citrus peels,  dried fruit medley and others would have nuts.   And lastly, EATING it!  

I'm actually eating a slice while I'm typing these words.   The bread is more like the texture of a special ensaimada, soft and fresh, considering that it was preserved, though the liquor is not strong, sweet yes but not too much like a cake.   I don't actually like fruit cakes, but I like the one a friend of us makes and sells a bit expensive, well, it is home-made and quality is satisfactory.  Compared to fruit cakes, this one wins.

During the Christmas season, Italians eat panettone  at breakfast with coffee, between
meals with Marsala wine, and after dinner with Spumante.
Panettone can be toasted and spread with butter or mascarpone cheese for breakfast or used to make a  wonderful French toast.

Last year we saw "baby" panettone or the mini/cupcake version at Rustans Grocery, Rockwell.  Costing about P150.

I was able to find an online store where they actually can order  for you and have it delivered at your home.
Here is the link:

This cake is again a Christmas specialty but from Verona and is as famous as panettone.   It is 
shaped like a frustum with an 8 pointed-star section.  When you slice it across you'll have a star cake.  It normally comes with a packet of  powdered sugar, lemon or vanilla flavor, I think they also come in other flavors, I'm not sure.  The sugar is dusted either on the top of the cake or on the sliced cake.

Pan d'oro, historically, means "golden bread."   In the middle ages sweet breads such as these were only served to noble or royal people.  However, it was in Venice were it gained the name Pandoro and where it had developed and had been in the cuisine of the Venetian aristocracy as a dessert.


The process in making Pandoro is the same as that of the Panettone, except, it doesn't have the fix in.    It is a plain sweet bread/cake, very light and a bit airy, smells very buttery and a slight vanilla essence.  Italians serve it with cream or gelato on top or on the side.                                                                                                                                

It was in Verona  when this dessert bread began  when Domenico Melegatti obtained a patent for a procedure to be applied in producing Pandoro commercially.

In the picture is a new product from Melegatti. Could you imagine that, I have an original Melegatti Pandoro on our dining table.

" Un nuovo Pandoro ricoperto di cioccolato extra  
fondente e farcito con delicata crema chantilly."
A new Pandoro covered with chocolate extra
melting and stuffed with delicate chantilly cream.

 I will soon post several recipes with pictures, of course, highlighting these faves of mine.


  1. My favorite Panettone is Fig with dark chocolate and pear with dark chocolate. With a scoop of Vanilla ice cream!

  2. I really liked your Information. Keep up the good work. Send Cake to Philippines


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