I had panettone once two years ago. It tasted like no other cake I have tasted. It was the texture of cake and nothing special about it, but the taste. But for panettone you need a special pan and as I understand it requires a proofing process to cure the dough and create a somewhat sourdough. I do not have the time for that nor have I tried before. I have not even made my own sourdough starter to bake sourdough bread. Unfortunately, I didn’t think that now was the time to start. Until… I landed on a recipe for panettone muffins!
It’s from the Arctic Garden Studio and I found out about it because it was listed in the New York Times slideshow of Christmas recipe shared by their readers. It has been bookmarked since Christmas and I’ve been dying to make it since.
Now, as the blogger of Arctic Garden Studio says, there is a flavouring extract that goes in panettone that gives it that special taste (I would like to apologize to all Italians out there, I know that each and every one of you has a panettone recipe and I am sure they are all delicious. I just found this one, I don’t even know whether to call it panettone). Since that flavouring extract is probably only available in Italy, she suggested adding some lemon zest and a drop or two of almond extract to « mimic » the taste. Maybe I didn’t add enough almond extract, because it only has a very faint taste of panettone.
Furthermore, I am still not used to the N. American recipes (and since this one comes to me via N. America I will call it North American because I don’t know how much the quantities were adapted, and they might have been) because I found it too sweet and I find ALL N. American baking recipes way too sweet. I got carried away here, because I measure now in one single measuring cup, whereas before I measured with single cups (1 cup, ½ cup, 1/3 cup etc) Well, the recipe calls for 2/3 cups of sugar. Had I measured one by one 1/3 cup, maybe I would’ve seen that 1/3 cup was enough or a couple of tablespoons more, but that’s it. Now I addded everything because I was not able to see, to judge it by eye sight whether it’s too much or not and I find it too sweet ;(
Something else may have messed up my sweetness in the recipe (and if that seriously altered it and affected it, then I apologize for calling it too sweet). It calls for sprinkling sugar in the raw on top. I didn’t have any and I thought that making something like a granita of lemon juice and sugar would be nice to crumble on top. It’s just that when I realized how much sugar I’d need I thought ok, I better stop and I sprinkled what I had on top. It was a bit runnier than I wanted it to. It may have dropped into the batter. 😦 I am a sad panda for making it to sweet, but what can you do. ;(
Where I am muffins and muffin tins are a little bit uncommon and they don’t come around very often. Therefore finding muffin moulds was proving a bit hard. But, since muffins are nothing but a cake baked in round ramekin holders basically, I decided to make it in a normal round cake pan and cut them in squares (Eddie Murphy : « You gonna make it on a square!? » hahaha I’m sorry, I can’t help it, it reminds me of it every time!).
No matter what I did or didn’t do, I don’t know what is it due (the oil in the batter, or the baking it in a cake tin instead of muffin tins and should’ve baked it longer, don’t know) but the batter is the gooiest ever. I think I am going to call this my go-to muffin batter. It is so gooey and moist even after a few days!
1 ½ cup dried fruit (I had just raisins, dark & golden)
¼ cup orange/clementine juice
2 tsp rum
¼ cup butter (56 gr), softened
2 tbsp oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar (or less)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 ¼ cup flour
2/3 cup milk
1 pack vanilla sugar
½ tsp lemon zest
few drops almond extract
Sugar in the raw/pearl sugar
Mix of lemon juice and sugar, texture of a drizzle
1. The night before soak the dried fruit in the orange or clementine juice mixed with rum.
2. Next day, before you start, preheat the oven to 375F/190C and butter a cake pan or muffin tins and line them with paper cups.
3. Beat the softened butter with the oil, sugar and vanilla sugar until creamy.
4. Start beating in the eggs one at a time until each is well incorporated.
5. Whizz in the lemon zest and the almond extract.
6. Stop the mixer, and with a spatula add the sifted dry ingredients alternating with milk.
7. Stir in the fruit and any juice leftover from the soaking dried fruit.
8. Pour it in the prepared cake tin and bake (sprinkle with the pearl sugar or drizzle the lemon juice/sugar mix) (come to think of it, maybe to avoid the drizzle dropping in the batter, drizzle it half-way through baking)
9. Bake for 18-20 minutes in the middle rack. If it is kind of still too pale when done, lift the rack three-quarters up in the oven and bake for 2 more minutes to make the top golden.
10. Insert a toothpick or a knife and if it comes out clean, it’s done.
*They really taste great, even if I made them a bit too sweet. Maybe this way you’ll be forced to have 1 piece instead of 3 or 4! haha