We’d like to share one of our favorite Italian desserts that is enjoyed across Italy during this festive time. The famous sweet bread known as Panettone.
And if you prefer your classic Italian desserts in liquid form then check out the recipe for the delicious holiday drink, Il Bombardino.
The origins of “Panettone” are a bit murky, but date back to at least the early 1600s. One of the most colorful stories recalls a mishap by the official chef of Lord Sforza of Milan, who inadvertently burned the bread for the Christmas Eve dinner. A kitchen servant named Toni saved the day when he spontaneously added flour, eggs, raisins, candied fruit and sugar to his ball of sourdough and produced “Pan di Toni”. It was hit with Sforza family and from that year forward became a classic holiday treat! Pan di Toni eventually evolved into Panettone and has been refined over centuries into the delicious sweet bread that Italian’s enjoy to this day.
The il Bombardino is go-to drink in the Italian Alps after a full day on the slopes. The classic Italian winter cocktail was said to have been created in Lombardia in Northern Italy after four skiers staggered into a ski lodge to take shelter from a blizzard, seeking something warm and rich to counteract the cold. The older gentleman, a veteran of the oldest active mountain Infantry In the world, The Alpini, quickly stirred together brandy, milk, and zabaglione (an egg-based gelato) and warmed them. The result was a warm and sweet beverage that packs quite the punch.
Over time, the cocktail transformed Into the current recipe which Includes a creamy egg liqueur stirred into brandy and topped with whipped cream and garnished with cinnamon.
Feeling thirsty, hungry, and ambitious? Here are recipes to try making your own “Pan di Toni” and “Il Bombardino”.
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- ⅓ cup chopped dried apricots
- ⅓ cup dried tart cherries
- ¼ cup triple sec (orange-flavored liqueur) or orange juice
- 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ cup warm water (100° to 110°)
- 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 6 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, melted
- ¼ cup fat-free milk
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- Cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon butter or stick margarine, melted
- 2 teaspoons turbinado or granulated sugar
Step 1 - To prepare marinated fruit, combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; let stand 1 hour. Drain fruit in a sieve over a bowl, reserving fruit and 2 teaspoons liqueur separately.
Step 2 -To prepare dough, dissolve yeast and 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar in warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1/2 cup flour and next 6 ingredients (1/2 cup flour through egg yolk) in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer 1 minute or until smooth. Add yeast mixture and 1/2 cup flour; beat 1 minute. Stir in marinated fruit, 2 1/2 cups flour, and pine nuts. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
Step 3 - Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, about 1 1/2 hours. Dough will not double in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
Step 4 - Punch dough down; let rest 5 minutes. Divide in half, shaping each into a ball. Place balls into 2 (13-ounce) coffee cans coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
Step 5 - Preheat oven to 375°.
Step 6 - Uncover dough. Place coffee cans on bottom rack in oven, and bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until browned and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove bread from cans, and cool on a wire rack. Combine reserved 2 teaspoons liqueur and 1 teaspoon butter; brush over loaves. Sprinkle evenly with turbinado sugar.
1.5 Ounces Brandy
3 Ounces Egg Liqueur, (Zabov Zabalione, Advocat or Eggnog)
Optional; - 2-3 Ounces Fresh Coffee
Whipped Cream to Taste
Add Cinnamon to taste