BeanScene Magazine

Panettone - A Christmas favourite

From the December 2015 issue.
Panettone - A Christmas favourite

While there are so many festivities going on and gifts to choose from during the Christmas season, some things are unchanging, appreciated year after year. This rings true for the humble Panettone, the star of Italian Christmas cakes.

Giorgio Angele, who took over from Brunetti café’s original owner in 1991 and helped transform it into the Melbourne institution it is today, sheds some light on the traditions behind this much loved Christmas favourite.

Panettone is traditionally a cake-like bread studded with raisins, candied orange and a hint of citrus peel. Pandoro on the other hand – Italy’s other iconic Christmas cake – is a sweet bread without fruit, simply adorned with a generous dusting of icing sugar. Both of these cakes are only celebrated and enjoyed at Christmas time each year, making them all the more special.

The history of Panettone is largely linked to the city of Milan, where it became commercialised during the early 1900s by a local baker who is credited with creating the cake’s characteristic dome shape. The popularity of this Christmas cake quickly spread throughout Italy and eventually made its way all over the world.

In Italy, many families will welcome Christmas with a slice of Panettone and a flute of Prosecco. 

The process of making Panettone is highly involved, requiring a great deal of time and effort as it needs to go through multiple leavening stages.

For Brunetti, Panettone is so special because it represents more than just a Christmas cake, it symbolises a rich cultural tradition that lives on through generations and that is why customers will always find it in the brand’s stores in the lead up to Christmas. It is a special product that is only made and celebrated once a year, embracing tradition and reminding us of our Italian heritage and the joy of celebrating with loved ones.

Brunetti embodies a local celebration of Italian lifestyle that embraces seasonal traditions such as enjoying delicious slices of Panettone with family and friends throughout the festive season.

“We encourage our loyal customers to find new ways to enjoy their Panettone by toasting it for breakfast or baking it in simple dishes. There are a variety of ways to appreciate Panettone, especially when you have surplus amounts left over following the festive season,” says Giorgio.

In addition to the traditional varieties of Panettone available, featuring raisins and candied fruit, there are also many modern versions in the marketplace. For example, Brunetti’s Gianduia Panettone is an indulgent take on

Panettone, covered with chocolate and featuring a delicious chocolate hazelnut cream.

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