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This recipe is a twist on two classic recipes and it’s perfect for the holidays!
Panettone – It’s best to start with a basic, classic panettone (i.e. one with dried fruits only). Other flavoured types could be tried, but will obviously change the profile of the finished desert.
Note that this recipe does not call for much added sugar, as most commercial panettone recipes are already fairly sweet. If your panettone is less sweet, you may want to add more sugar. Taste test your panettone to see how sweet it is and adjust the added sugar if needed.
Note that the 9 cups (600 g) called for in the recipe assumes that you’re starting with a fairly fresh(and therefore moist) panettone. If the panettone is somewhat stale or dry, use about one cup less.
Bread Substitutes – If you don’t have a panettone, you can make this as a standard bread pudding by substituting challah or a similar light, rich bread. Fresh (i.e. not dry) bread will substitute directly for panettone, but if you use a stale or dry loaf you’ll most likely need to reduce the amount of bread needed to soak up the liquid ingredients. You’ll also want to add more raisins and/or other dried fruits (e.g. candied citrus), and more sugar (I would start with an additional 1/4 cup).
Raisins – Classic panettones will generally already include raisins, but I do like adding extra to this recipe. If your panettone doesn’t include raisins, I would double the quantity called for in the recipe. Alternatively, you could use a different dried fruit like cranberries or cherries to switch up the flavour profile.
Rum – If you want to change things up a bit, you can substitute bourbon, port, brandy, sherry, or marsala for the rum at the same quantity. If you want to cook without using alcohol, you can omit the rum entirely and add 1/4 cup milk and1-2 tbsps rum extract (note that some rum extracts also contain alcohol).
When making the crème anglaise, you can likewise substitute with bourbon (etc.), or use about 1tsp of rum extract, or simply omit the alcohols for a plain crème anglaise.
Zabaglione Variation – For a more Italian twist on the custard topping, try a marsala-infused zabaglione in place of the crème anglaise. You can try our Zabaglione recipe, complete with a video from Chef Dez, just click here.
Double Boiler – If you don’t have a double boiler, not to worry – you can use a pot with water and a heat proof metal bowl instead. You’ll want the level of the water to be just below the bowl when it’s placed over the pot, so the bowl doesn’t quite touch the water. Want some tips? Check out Chef Dez’s Zabaglione video! He demonstrates how to use this method at about 4:35 into the video!