One of my favourite Christmas recipe books is The Australian Women’s Weekly, Christmas. Not only is it visually stunning, but it has a great array of treats to make for gifts or to serve as part of your festive meals.
I had the book out on the table, all ready to make the Stained Glass Window Biscuits, when whimsy took over, and I found myself wrist-deep in kneading a gorgeous cocoa-rich dough to make Chocolate Panettone.
I modified the recipe slightly, however, I like the adjustments! As I hadn’t prepared to make these, I didn’t have raisins or dates in my cupboard, I did however have dried cranberries which gave colour and sharpness. Doubling the amount of choc bits (as I had returned from Costco with 20kg sacks of the things) was a welcome addition, as was a shake of ground cardamon, cinnamon and nutmeg. I like the spice. Here, I have put my version of ingredients.
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
- 2 1/4 cups plain flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 50g butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup dark chic bits
- shake of ground cardamon, cinnamon and nutmeg
- Combine the milk, caster sugar and yeast in a bowl. Cover with a clean tea-towel and stand in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until frothy.
- Sift flour, cocoa, extra caster sugar and salt into a large bowl; stir in yeast mixture, vanilla extract, butter, eggs, yolks, fruit, choc bits and spices. Knead dough on floured surface until elastic. Place the dough in a large, greased bowl and cover. Stand in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
- Pre-heat oven to 200˚C. Line a 6-hole texas muffin pan (180ml) or ramekins (as I did) with paper cases.
- Knead dough on floured surface until it loses its stickiness. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and press into pan/ramekins. Cover loosely and stand in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Stand in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer onto wire rack to cool. Dust with sifted icing sugar.