Panettone is an unmissable favorite in every Italian home at Christmas time. Its original recipe harks back to the middle ages, but with the rapid industrialization that exploded in the 20th century, so did the popularity of the panettone. It is now a well-known Christmas treat all over the world.
Perhaps you’ve already seen them in your local shops, packaged so beautifully that it’s almost a shame to tear open the wrapping – but trust me, what you’ll find inside is certainly worth it.
This tall, airy loaf is a hybrid between a sweet bread and a cake, a delicate construction of air bubbles and subtly sweet taste, stuffed with shimmering jewels of citrus peel. A mouthful of panettone is as light as air, and its soft buttery crumb simply melts on the tongue.
Here to help us on our mission to create the perfect panettone is our Cesarina Laura. She joined the Cesarine network in 2016, and lives in Milan, one of the world’s fashion capitals. Another one of this city’s lesser-known qualities is its fantastic cuisine, which boasts rich and opulent dishes such as “risotto giallo” (bright yellow saffon risotto) and flash-fried ‘mondeghili’ meatballs.
Laura joined Cesarine because she loves preparing Milanese dishes, and wants to share the city’s culinary treasures with the world. She is a chef by profession, but welcoming guests into her own home for dinners gives her a chance to share the recipes she holds closest to her heart.
When I called her to ask for her family panettone recipe, however, I was met with a sharp intake of breath.
“Oh, if it’s a secret recipe, don’t worry…” I began, aware of the protectiveness of Italians when it comes to their family cookbooks.
“No, I can share it,” replied Laura, “but do your readers know what they’re letting themselves in for?”
Readers, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Making panettone is not an easy task, but if you’re up for a challenge, I wish you luck.
Make your Christmas in Italy extra sweet.