photo courtesy tamarascraftypapercreations.blogspot.com
Ready to open door number two (due) with me?
Today's treat is the Pandoro (or pan d'oro), literally Golden Bread, which originated in the city of Verona, and dates back to the 18th century. The cake is a very yellow color because of all the egg yolks used in the batter, and is baked in a deep 8 pointed star-shaped pan. After coming out of the oven, the cake is inverted on a plate, and dusted with confectioners sugar. Many say this resembles the snow covered Italian Alps.
photo courtesy votrepain.com
A decorative way to serve Pandoro is to divide the cake into horizontal slices about 1 inch thick, and then stack the slices one on top of the other, rotating the points of the star slightly for each slice, so you end up with a tree-shaped structure. I've seen Pandoro cut like this, and drizzled with chocolate from the top down, or with cream spread between the slices. I like it just plain, similar to a pound cake.
photo courtesy blog.giallozafferano.it
When bakeries and grocery stores have stacks of Pandoro in the windows, you know it's the beginning of the holiday season in Italy.
If you are feeling ambitious, here's a link to Chef Mario Batali's Pandoro recipe.