Chocolate-Chip Orange Panettone

cake2I adore panettone, it’s one of those things that pops up every Christmas, just like how suddenly everything is pumpkin flavored in October, and then peppermint flavored in December.  I’ve never had homemade panettone, in fact I don’t know anyone who’s ever even attempted it.  My experience is limited to a co-worker who brings the boxed version into work every year around the holidays. This Chocolate-Chip Orange version is glorious, and such a wonderful variation on the traditional flavors. I had most of the ingredients on hand, except for the iconic panettone wrapper. Baked Elements mentioned a few alternatives, such as a metal coffee can (now that is an experiment for another day), but I found my local Sur La Table selling the wrappers for only a dollar. dough
Rising dough. photo 5 (1)
This recipe called for homemade candied orange peel, something that I have never eaten, much less made. Luckily they were very easy, basically just boiling orange peels, and then boiling them again in sugar syrup. They turned into something similar to gummy candy, and the leftover syrup was really nice in tea. I used clementines because I had some on hand in my fridge  and figured this would be a great recipe to use them up.
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The texture didn’t turn out quite like I expected, a bit more like a cake than bread. I may have over baked it a touch. I waited until the thermometer reached the specified temperature, but I think it would have been better to take it out earlier. Luckily it was still really delicious, and a great combination of flavors, I love citrus anyway, and the orangey flavor of the cake combined with the sweetness from the chocolate chips is supremely tasty. Happy holidays! cake1cake3

Happy holidays!

Baked Sunday Mornings

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Next week: Lemon Lime Champagne Granita

Velvet Chocolate Walnut Fudge with Olive Oil and Fleur de Sel

My mom is a master fudge maker. She has a much requested peanut butter fudge recipe that she has adapted from the standard Marshmallow Fluff fare. Last Christmas, I tried to help out in the kitchen by taking over her fudge making duties while she whipped up a pie. It seemed straight forward enough. My mom walked me through what I needed to do and then handed me printed directions. Which I then decided to ignore completely.  What I ended up with wasn’t quite a disaster, as any combination of melted peanut butter and sugar is bound to be delicious, but it also wasn’t exactly fudge either, and certainly wasn’t something that we could take to our family gathering. I think I decided on a whim that I could just dump all of the ingredients into the pot together and bring it to a boil, and to this day I have no idea why I decided to do that. I am usually scrupulous about reading through a recipe several times, and following the directions.  My mom pitched my attempt and made the recipe again from scratch, while I tried not to look too chagrined. So I was a little wary about this week’s delicious sounding recipe, Velvet Chocolate Walnut Fudge with Olive Oil and Fleur de Sel.

FudgeI learned my lesson this time around, and even took the extra step of measuring out all of the ingredients before starting. This recipe is a lot easier than it sounds, considering that the second ingredient is homemade marshmallow cream. I think I overcooked my sugar a tiny bit, it reached the correct temperature much faster than I thought that it would, and before I knew it my thermometer was reading 260 instead of 245. Oops. When I tried pouring it into the whipped egg whites I ended up with marshmallow cream with some glassy shards of hardened sugar. It worried me a bit, but I figure since I was going to be boiling everything again in the sugar and butter mixture, it might work out alright. I also had a bit of trouble getting the fudge mixture to reach 230, it seemed to hang around the 220 mark for a very long time. At the ten minute mark I just decided to go with it and add the chocolate. Thankfully, everything workout out ok. The texture is a bit soft, but a bit of time in the fridge seems to have helped a bit. I don’t think that they are sturdy enough to ship as a holiday gift, but I think that my co-workers will enjoy them tomorrow.

The taste is very sweet, and reminded me a lot of eating cake frosting. I cut my pieces extra small, so I ended up with 24 servings instead of the 16, and the smaller bit is plenty considering how sweet and rich these are. If I made them again, I might add a touch of espresso, and use only dark chocolate, but otherwise they are quite tasty if you are a fan of fudge.

Next week:Chocolate Chip Orange Panettone 

Baked Sunday Mornings