We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Countdown to Christmas (Natale) - Italian style!- December 2

                                                                 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.

Buon Natale!


Anonymous said...

There are many Italians in and around Dismal Swamp, so we have started to see Panettone in the supermarkets. They're nowhere near as good as the ones in the bakeries over there!

karen said...

I always used to buy my panettone from a large grocery chain in the US. Here, be,ieve it or nor, my preference is from the Coop. i've tried several different grands, even fresh baked, I still keep coming back to Coop. In previous years, I'd have eaten my first Panettone by now, it would have been my breakfast with tea every morning, and my mid afternoon snack. This year, I must admit, I have not had a bite yet, and will probably only buy one, for Christmas morning breakfast. I will NOT put any of these hard lost pounds back on!