Panettone is a tall, cylinder-shaped, egg-rich cake from Milan, Italy, traditionally served at Christmas and Easter.
According to legend, the cake's name comes from a baker named Toni, who had a beautiful daughter. An aristocrat fell in the love with the daughter and worked as an apprentice in the bakery where he created this very rich cake that became quite popular and was called pan di Toni.
This bread pudding can also be made with pandoro, a tall Christmas cake like panettone, from Verona.
Unsalted butter, at room temperature, as needed
Sugar, as needed
1 large panettone, cubed or sliced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 quart milk
1 cup heavy cream
Butter the inside of a large (9x13 inch) glass baking dish. Lightly sprinkle the buttered area with sugar. Place the cubed or sliced panettone in the dish. Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg over the panettone.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1 cup sugar, salt and vanilla extract.
In a saucepan, scald the milk and heavy cream. Temper the egg mixture with the scalded milk and cream. That is, gradually add a little of the scalded mixture to the egg mixture to prevent the eggs from cooking. When the two mixtures are combined, mix well and pour over the panettone.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cover the glass baking dish tightly with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil. Bake in a water bath in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour, or until set.
If desired, chopped fruit and/or chocolate pieces can be added to the egg mixture.
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