Saturday, January 14, 2012

Recipe ~ Zuccotto di Panettone

Hailing from Milan, panettone is a delicious cupola-shaped sweet bread that's a Christmastime staple in Italy... and the globe.

"Zuccotto" is Italian for "little pumpkin" and as the name implies, delicious panettone can be formed into the delightful shape of a pumpkin, when crafted along with the charming cast of ingredients, below.

While this dessert looks like it cost a million €, it's quite easy to make. Watch their eyes grow wide when you serve them a piece of this sweet treat. You'll both be craving for more!

~ ~ ~ ZUCCOTTO DI PANETTONE ~ ~ ~

Ingredients:

To Line Bowl | Cling Wrap

2 Handfuls | Chopped Texas Pecans or Almond Slices

Handful | Chocolate Chips

2 Handfuls | Candied Fruit

1/2 Cup | Sugar

32 Ounces | Ricotta Cheese

2 Spoonfuls | Cocoa

1 Large | Panettone (get the best)

To Taste | Vin Santo

What To Do:

1. Line a medium-sized mixing bowl with the cling wrap and set aside.

2. In Prep Bowl #1: Mix 1/2 of the nuts, the chocolate chips 1/2 of the candied fruits, 1/2 of the sugar and 1/2 of the ricotta cheese. Set aside.

3. In Prep Bowl #2: Mix 1/2 of the nuts, the cocoa, 1/2 of the candied fruits, 1/2 of the sugar and 1/2 of the ricotta cheese. Set aside.

4. Slice the
panettone about 1" thick and line the bowl with the first layer. Press firmly to shape the panettone to the bowl. Sprinkle generously with the Vin Santo.

5. Transfer the filling from Bowl #1 into the panettone bowl and spread it flat. Cover with 2-3 more slices of panettone and press firmly. Sprinkle the bread generously with the Vin Santo.

6. Repeat step 5 with the contents of Bowl #2. Cover with remaining slices of panettone and press firmly. Sprinkle the bread generously with the Vin Santo.

7. Place a couple of heavy plates on top of the bowl to help the panettone "set". Keep in a refrigerator overnight.

8. To serve invert the bowl over a serving plate/platter, remove the Zuccotto di Panettone from the prep bowl and discard the cling wrap. Dust with cocoa, slice and enjoy!

A Few Words About Vin Santo ~

Vin Santo (or
"holy wine") is a sweet Italian dessert wine that hails from Tuscany. While you can purchase Vin Santo locally here in Texas, it's not very easy to find. At least not at Central Market, Kroger or our local liquor store "Goody Goody." Check out Specs or your higher-end spirits store and you may discover the buona fortuna.

We found the "Beato Guibileo" Vin Santo shown above on our first trip to Italy in 2006. We stumbled upon a charming Florence wine store called "Fuor di Porta" and after an hour+ chatting with the store owner "Cristiana," we left with several bottles of wine, including an amazing wooden box branded with the word "Firenze" (more on my Florence post here). The box was filled with biscotti and partnered with a bottle of the Vin Santo ~ all carefully resting on a fluffy bed of excelsior. Cristiana said the biscotti was delicious when dipped in the Vin Santo.

We hand-carried the prized box back to Dallas where it proudly sat on our kitchen display shelf for 5 years until when we couldn't find Vin Santo locally, we un-crated it to see if it was still usable for this recipe. And it was! Our local wine steward told us that amber colored Vin Santo never spoils.

I hope
that's true because we plan on using it each holiday to make this delicious recipe... until it's all gone. When it's all used, we'll hope for another trip back to Firenze... and to Fuor di Porta!

Mangia! : Mangia!

More of our favorite recipes here
.


for the love of : italy

1 comment:

Colleen said...

I'm trying this! I usually make panetonne bread pudding with Amaretto sauce, but this looks amazing. Hope I can find vin santo. I'll let you know how it is received. :-)
Colleen