Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Gift: Christmas Breakfast

What could be inside this beautiful red box? As I unwrap the package a sweet aroma fills my head with childhood memories. It’s Panettone, the most celebrated of all Italian cakes.

For generations, Christmas would be incomplete without this naturally leavened cake, rich in butter and eggs. Made from noble ingredients, this light and soft cake, overflowing with raisins and candied fruit, is one of the triumphs of the Italian bakers art.

I’m transforming this Panettone, a gift from my friend Joanne, into a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast for two.

Panettone French Toast

For the egg mixture: (enough to coat 6 round slices of Panettone (about 1/2 inch thick)

4 eggs
1 tablespoon Amaretto
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of salt

Beat all ingredients in a large bowl. Dip each slice of Panettone in egg mixture, coating both sides. Lightly brown each side and keep warm in a 200 degree oven.

To plate:

Arrange 3 slices of Panettone on a plate and garnish with orange slices and candied fruits. If you want to make this dish really special, lightly whip some cream and embellish with a splash of Amaretto.

This lovely dish is best served with a chilled Prosecco. If you prefer to continue with a fruit theme try:

Campari orange cocktail:

Fill a tall on the rocks glass with ice and add:
1 part Campari
3 parts orange juice
garnish with a slice of orange.

Buon Appetito!

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