Sunday, November 28, 2010

A New Idea for the Christmas Cakes

Both in Europe and America itâ• • s a tradition to prepare, for Christmas and Easter, some Typical cakes.

In Italy thereâ• • s a wide range of Christmas cakes, which date back to hundreds of years ago; they are homemade or industrial products and they go along with us through the Christmas period, with differences depending on the various regions, provinces and even cities; moreover, the same cake can have, depending on the places, different names. If you are on a diet, the Christmas period allows some gluttony, and weâ• • ll help you out to get a little fatter!

Among cakes, the Christmas guest stars are Pandoro and Panettone. There are many variations for these classical cakes, depending on the region and on the inspiration of the pastry chef. Panettone is the traditional Christmas cake recognizable for its characteristic cupola shape, and itâ• • s one of Milanâ• • s most typical pastry products. In the traditional recipe itâ• • s a soft and baked dough made with eggs, butter, raisins and candied fruit, though in the latest years the pastry industry created many versions, proposing also filled and topped Panettone and Pandoro.

Would you like to astonish your guests with an original way to serve a traditional Italian cake, this year? Itâ• • s surely easier to do it than to explain it, so if you long to give a personal touch to your panettone and surprise your guests, follow these simple suggestions.

First you have to cut the top; then excavate with a knife leaving about 4 cm on the bottom and sides. Prepare some vanilla ice cream mixing eight egg whites with 220 g of sugar, and pouring on them 8 dl of milk and 2 of cream, boiled with a bar of vanilla, then let it freeze. Once the ice cream is ready, you will cover the inside part of the cake you excavated; you may also use the part you removed before, cut in big cubes. Close with the cap and put in the freezer.

Weigh the egg whites left and, adding the double of their weight of sugar, beat the egg whites until stiff and make an uncooked meringue with which youâ• • ll cover the panettone. Do not forge to hide in the upper part half shell of an egg for the special effects. Before serving it, grill it in the oven, to colour the meringue. Then put on the top of the cake, in the half shell, some cotton soaked with 95° alcohol, fire and serve.

Your flamed panettone will surely be the protagonist of your Christmas, more than it would have been in its â• • naturalâ• • version. Donâ• • t forget that the interior part of the cake you did not use can be served for the most gluttonous with some melted chocolate. A perfect way to bring the classical Christmas cakes with some originality!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, full of pleasant and nice fruits!

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