With three months to go….
the Christmas connoisseurs among us will know in order to be perfectly prepared for Christmas, now is the time to get planning. With your sloe berries a’brewing next on the list is the classic Christmas cake. This traditional treat requires a frequent tipple, commanding constant care on the run up to Christmas – however this effort doesn’t quite equate for the inevitable waste come the end of December. It would seem that the Christmas cake has fallen out of fashion as its Italian counterpart Panettone is taking centre stage. To get a piece of the action, Porro is the place for all things Italian(ish).
Distinctive domes of burnished gold, candied citrus peels and gems of dried fruit, the panettone certainly has more stage presence than the humble Christmas cake. This sweet, yeasty treat – with dough akin to sourdough and crumb compared to brioche – is a complex bread-like bake that can be indulged in after dinner with a digestif, or basted in butter with a cup of coffee. The versatility of which is what makes it so very desirable! Being considerably lighter in texture than a sticky fruit cake, it’s no wonder that the panettone is polished off before the season is up!
This particular Christmas confectionary has been enjoyed by Italians since the Middle Ages. The mastery of the bake has moved through the generations but still remains true to its original form today. Prodigious pats of butter and fistfuls of dried fruits are kneaded into spheres before being placed in circular cases for proving. (Whilst panettone needs preparation time to prove, it’s no feat compared to feeding a Christmas cake). Once baked, panettones are hung upside down to cool to ensure the curved cake tops don’t collapse.
Although this alternative to the Christmas cake takes less laborious hours to make, the iconic rise seems beyond reach for even the most seasoned of bakers. As the year yields to an end you’ll find these yuletide loaves displayed in shops, elaborately laced with ribbons in decadent boxes, perfect for gifting your loved ones at Christmas.
Panettone at Porro
When asked, Porro revealed their plans for their take on a panettone pudding. A festive fusion of Italian and British, Porro’s Christmas menu offers ‘panettone bread & butter pudding’, encapsulating the true essence of Porro – all things Italian(ish).
An article by Bryony Fenton