And with Chef Igor’s desserts on my mind, I set out to attempt a recreation MUAHAHAHA! Mission Impossible I.

The only relatively doable dessert, considering my time restraints and the constant pressure to pick up a book and study, was the panettone. So oh-ho and this merry-ol’-soul went to look for Chef Igor’s wonderful panettone. Just to find out how horribly unhealthy it is. The panettone is first baked, with the addition of lotsa gelees and sweet stuffs, then soaked in milk and sugar, then squeezed dry, then fried, then served in the liquid it was previously drained off. This is a pretty watered down idea of his recipe just to offer you a glimpse, but the full recipe really just gave me the goosebumps. Just how much sugar, fats and empty calories did I swallow that night? Oh gosh…

Not only was it really sinful, it was also a real trouble to make. And so I decided to just settle for making the sweet bread – Panettone. That was a real bugger in itself! But a real joy too (:

So I divided the original recipe by 6 cause I wanted to make the minimum portion allowed to prevent any wastage. Just in case I failed ya know? Haha so with a sixth of the amounts, I ended up with a loaf pan and 6 muffin cups worth of panettone! ūüėÄ initially, I was a little afraid about baking this because my last bread didn’t turn out very well. Frankly speaking the texture of the Milk Bread was so bleagh I was afraid this batch would turn out inedible. BUT IT DIDN’T MUAHAHAHA. It was honestly rather pleasant and deli! ESPECIALLY when it was just out of the oven. Pure. Heaven. I didn’t really like it after it cooled down though…the candied orange turned out to be a little of an overkill for me, and it basically just fell a little flat. I should probably taste a proper panettone first before baking my next one, one that isn’t meddled with tremendously to resemble a calorie disaster!

I’d have to say though, that I was extremely extremely EXTREMELY satisfied with the texture of the bread! It was so soft, so fluffy, and so unlike the previous bread that I made!

Oh gosh just look at the texture of the bread…yums! I reeeeeeeally hope that I’d be able to recreate this with the other breads that I’m about to bake! For one, I’m now really into brioches ūüėÄ all thanks to the pictures of them on Paris¬†patisseries¬†guides! Oh and did I mention how disappointed I am to buy all those books, get oh-so-excited to visiting and eating those wonderful pastries and breads, then finding out that we won’t be able to visit Paris this year because there’d most probably be awful road blocks in December? ūüė• EMO.

Because I’m feeling particularly energetic this weeee morning, I’ve decided to post the recipes for the panettone and the candied orange peels! Haha my sisters and I have agreed that we’d be making these candied peels as little gifts this Halloween! ūüėÄ

Panettone Milano (makes 35)
Recipe adapted from TimeOut London

1.2kg plain flour
1tbsp salt
40g dry yeast
360ml milk
6 whole eggs
6 egg yolks
half tsp vanilla essence
250g caster sugar
500g unsalted butter, at room temp
500g raisins
350g orange (or mixed) peel

1. Preheat overn to 180C. Mix together the flour, salt, yeast, milk and eggs. When thoroughly combined, knead on a floured surface for five to ten minutes. Sprinkle with flour and leave, covered, in a warm place for an hour.

2. Add the egg yolks, vanilla essence and sugar, and mix to a soft dough. Work in the butter and beat for five to eight minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a slightly warm place for about an hour (or more) until doubles in size.

3. Knock back the dough and gently knead in the peel and raisins. Cover and leave to prove for half an hour, then break off 120-130g pieces and roll into balls. Put the balls into mini panettone cases and leave to prove for 30 minutes. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with flaked almonds and put into the oven to bake for 25 minutes.

Candied Orange (makes 2 cups)
Recipe adapted from Food Network

6 thick-skinned oranges
4 1/2 cups sugar, plus extra for rolling
1 1/2 cups water

1. Cut tops and bottoms off of the orange and score the orange into quarters, cutting down only into the peel and not into the fruit. Peel the skin and pith of the orange in large pieces, use the orange for another recipe.

2. Cut the peel into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Put the orange peel in a large saucepan with cold water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat. Then pour off the water. Repeat 1 or 2 more times depending up how assertive you want the orange peels to be. (Test kitchen liked the texture of a 3 time blanch best, it also mellowed the bitterness. But it is a matter of preference.) Remove the orange peels from the pan.

3. Whisk¬†the sugar with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 9 minutes (If you took the sugar’s temperature with a¬†candy¬†thermometer it would be at the soft thread stage, 230 to 234 degrees F.) Add the peels and simmer gently, reducing heat to retain a¬†simmer. Cook until the peels get translucent, about 45 minutes. Resist the urge to stir the peels or you may introduce sugar crystals into the syrup. If necessary, swirl the pan to move the peels around.

4. Drain the peels, (save the syrup for iced tea.) Roll the peels in sugar and dry on a rack, for 4 to 5 hours. Return to the sugar to store.

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