My favourite Christmas treat

Panettone!

Sweet, fragrant Italian cake that’s a lot like a soft fruit bread. I am addicted to this stuff and start buying it as soon as it appears, hanging from the ceiling in delicatessens like strange cubist garlands. And continue buying it as long as I can find it (one year it was available until April! Heaven). I have a vintage cake tin that is just the right size and shape to store a panettone, and it pretty much gets constant use over summer.

I love opening a fresh panettone—the floraly-zesty scent (what do they flavour it with?) is strongest then. I inhale the smell greedily after I’ve unwrapped it. Shucking the cardboard box, divesting the panettone of its plastic bag and then peeling away the paper is a ritual that promises exotic delights.

It’s not just the heady scent of panettone that makes it my favourite Christmastime indulgence. I love the lightly sweet, buttery taste, the juicy sultanas, and the contrasting textures of the crumb and the crust. I think part of the reason I eat a lot of it is that it’s not as sweet or as rich as many of the other Christmas treats we get. I love panforte, and almond bread, and fruitcake, and shortbread, and chocolates, and gingerbread, but I only want them every now and then. But panettone is perfect for everyday consumption—in fact I find it hard sometimes to limit myself to one piece a day!

Ooh, I’m getting hungry now. What’s your favourite Christmas treat?

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4 Responses to “My favourite Christmas treat”

  1. bells Says:

    i’ve got some gingerbread cupcakes I make every year, courtesy of Nigella Lawson, decorated with white and green decorators icing!

    I’ve never had a panettone. I always see the boxes lined up and wonder what they’re like because they look so plain! Maybe I’ll try one!

    • lacepetticoat Says:

      Ooh, gingerbread cupcakes sound great! I’ll have to hunt that one down.

      Do try a panettone, they’re so delicate and lovely. And if you don’t like it, you can always turn it into a fancy bread-and-butter pudding!

  2. Alex Says:

    I like those spiced gingerbread things with jam in the middle and covered with chocolate. They only ever used to appear at xmas but they turn out to be polish so now they’re everywhere all the time! They still taste best at xmas though.

    • lacepetticoat Says:

      Yum, they sound fantastic but I’ve never seen them here! Looks like I’ll have to check some of the more upmarket delis :)

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