Fourth Day of Gritmas

23 Dec

The Panettone. I mean, really, what an unnecessarily large and cumbersome cake that ticks absolutely no boxes whatsoever, taking up space in kitchens all over the country at a time of year when they can ill afford to spare it. No-one dreams of buying, giving or consuming panettone all year round, and then *BOOM* come December they are everywhere – passed from party to party looking for a safe house, hostesses smiling through gritted teeth thinking, ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOO, NOT ANOTHER EFFING PANETTONE, TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME!’

Well, those days are gone. I have discovered a new identity for the panettone that threatens to change its status in our home forever. Elevating it from unwanted non-cake to centre of table pudding heaven. A few weeks ago we had an impromptu lunch party and nothing for pudding, and, in a rare moment of inspiration I reached for the pannetone seeing it suddenly as perfect bread and butter pudding material. And indeed it was. So delicious in fact we actually bought another one just so we could eat it all over again (from Feast Deli in Muswell Hill I might add – and it was even better second time round). This is the sort of pudding that can only truly be enjoyed at Christmas-time, when comsuming a weeks worth of calories at one sitting is standard behaviour. It tastes best when preceeded by some serious cardiovascular fat busting activity – an hours run – not least of all because you will want seconds..

The Recipe:

Slice up three-quarters of the cake (I cut it in half first and then made slices from the half, then sliced up another quarter);
Butter one side of each slice generously;
Push slices into a large oven dish (any shape dish will do: square or rectangular would be best I imagine but I only had oval and it was fine) until you have a layer covering bottom of the dish. Worry not if it in uneven. Use broken bobbly bits to fill in any gaps. Butter side down is good for the first layer;
Mix together whatever cream egg and milk combo that suits your tastes (I had to make do with a small tub of single pouring cream, some semi-skimmed milk and one egg whisked together with a fork);
Pour some of this mixture over the first layer;
Repeat with another layer of buttered slices and cover with the rest of the mixture;
The liquid should just come up the sides over the top of your cake layers. If it doesn’t, just pour over some more milk until it does;
Grate a tiny bit of nutmeg over the top (entirely optional to add in more Christmassy flavour);
Sprinkle some brown muscavado or demarera sugar on top. Bake at 180 degrees for 30-45 mins (I wasn’t timing it so this is a guess – use your loaf). You know its done because the top is brown, toasty, rough and rustic and it smells DIVINE…

Gritmas Tip:

Give previously unwanted unloved Christmas fare a second chance – if inspiration strikes. If it doesn’t, well, it doesn’t..


3 Responses to “Fourth Day of Gritmas”

  1. vickyinglis December 23, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Yum, that sounds lush. I had no love for panettone, until I had one made by a friend who lived in Italy for a long time. Most of what we get here is a poor comparison to a real home-made one.

  2. Badger Batko January 5, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Try it in a trifle… I dare you. Even if you think you don’t like trifle.

    Fresh/frozen raspberries
    Slices of cake
    Drizzle of sherry or a sticky or something
    Don’t bother with the jelly.
    Custard (homemade is best, easier than you can imagine) or a tub of someone’s finest thinned with a bit of milk
    Cream if you feel like it

    Best use of panettone ever.

    • gritdoctor January 7, 2014 at 11:38 am #

      love the sound of this – wont see another pannettone till next year but we are massive trifle fans here at Christmas time so I will be using this recipe for sure. thanks!

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