Our new favourite festive snack is this melt-in-the-mouth panettone straight from a family bakery in Turin.
In frosty Turin, Italy, the citizens spend their Christmas Day much like we would here in the UK – snuggled up at home with friends and family, before gathering round the table for a massive feast.
But for the local bakers behind the beautifully buttery Arden & Amici panettone in December’s Gin of the Month box, the celebrations must wait. There’s something important to be done first: feeding the mother dough, the yeasted flour that forms the base of every single panettone baked in the converted convent where they work.
As Lesley Robertson of Arden & Amici explains: “Even when it’s Christmas, there’s someone whose job it is to nurture that mother dough every day. Panettone itself is like a whole family – each one comes from this living, breathing mother dough.”
The panettone in in our Christmas box has been made by a group of friends in Turin since the 1960s, abiding by strict regulations to ensure that this traditional cake has the melt-in-the-mouth texture that Italians have come to expect from their signature festive bread.
“The recipe has now been passed down to the founders’ sons and daughters,” Lesley says, “who are producing the panettone the same way they always have – even nurturing the same mother dough.”
It’s the founders of Arden & Amici – best friends Tim and Derek – who decided to bring this remarkable panettone back to the UK. They fell in love with Italy on their travels and wanted to bring a piece of its culinary tradition home for those who had never made the trip.
Since then Arden & Amici has worked with local Italian bakers to craft a range of authentic Italian bakery including panettone for Christmas, along with other Italian treats all year around, spreading the magic of Italian food across the UK.
“Modern life moves on,” says Lesley. “It’s fast-paced, but in Italy it’s still considered important to make time for family, for the different generations to get together, sit around the table and have a really good meal at the same time. At Christmas, panettone sits at the heart of that.”
If you’re ready for a bit of festive cheer, break open a Arden & Amici panettone at any time of day. Delicious with tea or coffee at breakfast or melted butter for afternoon tea, it also makes a cracking festive dessert with one of these tasty accompaniments…
Brown Sugar Brandy Butter
Whisk the butter until fluffy, then slowly add the sugar.
Continue whisking until incorporated, then add the brandy and whisk until smooth.
Add to a ramekin and enjoy with a slice of the panettone!
125g unsalted butter
85g light brown sugar
Mascarpone with Dark Chocolate Drizzle
To make the chocolate sauce, place a heat resistant mixing bowl over a pot of gently boiling water. Break the chocolate into the mixing bowl and stir until melted. Spoon the mascarpone into a ramekin and drizzle the chocolate over the top.
35g premium dark chocolate
4 tbsp mascarpone
Amaretto Whipped Cream
Using a hand mixer, begin whipping the cream. Add the Amaretto liqueur and the sugar and continue to whisk until the cream forms soft peaks. Spoon into a ramekin and scatter the almonds over the top.
225ml cold double cream
2 tbsp sugar