This Italian panettone cake makes the easiest of Christmas cake offerings: a bread-pudding-cum-fruit- cake that is soft and creamy and set with candied peel and dried fruit.
MAKES 1 X 20CM CAKE
450g panettone, torn into 6cm-8cm craggy lumps
300ml whipping cream
2 medium eggs
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp dark rum
unsalted butter for greasing
icing sugar for dusting
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 150C/ 130C fan/gas 2 and spread the panettone over a couple of nonstick baking sheets, with plenty of room between the pieces. Toast for 20 minutes, turning them halfway through – the idea is to ‘stale’ the bread by drying it out, without colouring. H Tip the panettone into a large bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and rum in another large bowl, pour over the panettone, stir and then press to submerge it and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Now give it a vigorous stir and then leave for another 15 minutes before beating to a creamy pulp.
2. Meanwhile, turn up the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5, butter a 20cm cake tin at least 5cm deep and line the base with baking paper. Place the tin on a baking sheet, pour in the mixture, levelling it, and bake for 55-60 minutes until firm and golden on top. Run a knife around the edge, then leave to cool.
3. Remove the collar, invert the cake on to a plate, lift off the base and peel off the paper. Invert it on to another plate and liberally dust with icing sugar. It will keep well for several days – give it another dust with icing sugar if necessary. Serve with cream or ice cream.
Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.