Italian panettone is quite expensive in New Zealand, and pandoro too (a part from being difficult to find). But I always make sure that I get my hands on some. The other day I though of doing something 'adventurous': I bought some locally made panettone.
Usually I am not one who criticize products on the blog: if I don't like something I just don't talk about it. But I cannot hold back here: I opened this panettone and I immediately knew that it was wrong. Those of you who know panettone will understand: you open a box and a wonderful fragrance fills the room, but here... nothing! No smell. And no taste. It was dry, boring, and reminded me of cardboard. Even my kids agreed (and they are no panettone experts, but they know the real thing when they smell it, and taste it!).
I have to tell you another thing about me: I don't throw food away. For me it is a sin, the food must be really bad or gone off to end up in the rubbish. I thought my kids to clean their plates, the highest form of respect you can do for a sick and hungry world. So I though of using this tasteless panettone to make a trifle. I cut it into slices and soaked it with Cointreau.
Then I made a custard with two eggs, two tbsp of flour, 4 tbsp of sugar and 750 ml of milk, 1 tsp of vanilla paste and 2 tsp of mixed citrus peel. I poured the custard over the panettone.
Then I peeled an orange (it would be better to use more, but I only had one) and took all the skins off and placed it on the custard. As a final touch I grated some bitter dark chocolate on top. This way we could all eat it!
On a completely different note: if you live in Japan or travel with Japan Airlines, in this month's airline magazine, Skyward, there is an article about Cagliari, entitled On the Gulf of Angels that I have co-written with an english writer. I love Cagliari and Sardinia, if I wasn't Emiliana (from Emilia Romagna) I would like to be Sardinian!
What about you? What would you like to be?