Like a kid in a candy shop, on Christmas morning, and topped with a beautiful birthday ribbon describes how I felt at the annual Canada’s Baking and Sweets Show held recently in Toronto. It was truly a foodie/baker’s dream come true surrounded by goodies, gadgets, toys and talent! Everywhere I looked was… well, like eye candy. Macarons, cupcakes, butter tarts, fondant covered cakes of masterpieces, donuts, wonuts (a waffle-donut hybrid, but I sadly missed that one!) adorned the aisles, but what really caught my eye was Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani (love his Ciao Chow cooking show on Yahoo!) at the Bauli Canada’s booth and the delicious display of Panettone .
Originating in Verona, Italy, Bauli has been perfecting and baking traditional Italian desserts for over 60 years, specializing in Italian cakes like Panettone and Pandoro. Panettone is a sweet bread-like cake often containing candied fruit, and shaped in a unique tall cylinder-cupola. Bauli’s Panettone is especially famous in Italy and there’s a good reason too! They have been making panettone the same way for over half a century: with love. Did you know that Bauli uses a natural leavening process of 18 to 40 hours of proofing the bread so chemical additives are not used?! This natural process creates a softer, fluffier and more flavourful panettone. Chef Fabio Viviani has paired with Bauli to be their brand ambassador, and he’s creating some delicious recipes using their products. Check out Bauli Canada’s Facebook page for some of the recipes. I’m dying to try the Bittersweet Chocolate Panini using the panettone!
2 whole slices of Bauli Panettone, each cut
½ inch thick crosswise horizontally
2½ Tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
4 Tablespoons of bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 Tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
Garnish with icing sugar and ½ pint of fresh raspberries.
1. Cut each Panettone slice in half, and then in half again to create quarter slices. You will need 2 quarters to make one panini. Butter one side of each quarter slice with a teaspoon of softened butter and place the 4 slices buttered side down on a work surface.
2. Top each of the 4 slices with 1 Tablespoon of chopped chocolate to within ¼ inch of the edges of the Panettone. Place 1½ Tablespoons of the mascarpone in the centre and top each with a second quarter slice of the Panettone, buttered side up to create a triangular sandwich.
3. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. When hot, place the panini on the skillet and cook for 1 minute, pressing lightly with a large spatula until golden brown. Carefully turn the panini over and cook for about 1 minute longer or until golden brown and the chocolate has just melted. The panini also toasts nicely in a skillet grill. Heat the skillet over medium heat until hot and follow instructions above.
4. Transfer the panini to individual serving plates, dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve at once, accompanied by fresh raspberries and a good cup of espresso or cappuccino.
Bauli Panettone and Pandoro are only available during Christmas and Easter, so get them while you can at your local supermarkets! The cakes are not too sweet and great with afternoon tea. They make great gifts for when you’re visiting friends and family over the holidays. In the meantime you can indulge in their traditional croissants. It comes in different flavours like chocolate, apricots, custard and all individually packed.
Enjoy a taste of Italy!