Chocolate, Cherry, and Pistachio Panettone

chocolate, cherry, and pistachio panettone | apt 2b baking co
chocolate, cherry, and pistachio panettone | apt 2b baking co
chocolate, cherry, and pistachio panettone | apt 2b baking co

We had our first snow last night. It was just a light dusting that was gone as soon as it fell, but I loved every single second of our little snowfall. It also made me very excited for our road trip to Minneapolis to celebrate Christmas this year, which hopefully will be blanketed in a thick layer of the white fluffy stuff. We are packing up the car, pup, (my cd case from college haha!) and heading west for 17 hours of terribly forecasted weather - so cross your fingers for us! Luckily the pup has proven to be a very good road-trip companion. I hope he likes mix cds from the early aughts!  

In the meantime I am a baking machine - cookies, brownies, bars, caramel corn, I'm doing it all! I even made my very first panettone which is a traditional Italian Christmas bread enriched with sugar and eggs, and lots of candied citron and raisins. I couldn't leave well enough alone so I added some chocolate and pistachios to mine too, and replaced the raisins with tart cherries. 

The panettone is made over the course of a couple days so the process is a bit long, but there is a lot of resting and rising time so don't let that put you off. The leftovers, if you have any, also make excellent bread pudding. 

Chocolate, Cherry, and Pistachio Panettone

1 6-inch panettone

Adapted from Sullivan Street Bakery and Brown Eyed Baker

This is a pumped-up panettone with lots of extra mix-ins for maximum holiday enjoyment. For a more traditional take use 1 cup of raisins rather than cherries and skip the chocolate and pistachios. Like a lot of yeast breads, this one takes a bit of time and planning but it’s mostly hands-off. I followed the schedule from Melissa at Brown Eyed Baker and it worked great for me.

Day one AM - Soak the cherries

Day one PM - Make the dough

Overnight - Rise

Day two AM - Shape the dough and let it rise

Day two PM - Bake the panettone

You’ll also need a paper panettone mold to bake the bread. Panettone molds are easy to find online, but in a pinch you can add a parchment paper collar to a high-sided cake or springform pan.

1 cup dried cherries, chopped

2 tablespoon light rum

2 tablespoons hot water

3 3/4 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2/3 cup lukewarm water

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon mild honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

10 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces2/3 cup candied citron (or orange peel) chopped

1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (optional)

1/2 cup chopped pistachios (optional)

1 beaten egg, for egg wash

pearl sugar

paper panettone mold

Put the cherries in a small bowl and pour the rum and hot water over the top. Stir occasionally until the cherries are plump and have absorbed most of the liquid, about 8 hours.

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and lemon zest on low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together lukewarm water, eggs, vanilla extract, and honey. With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture.

Increase the speed to medium-low and mix to combine. Add the softened butter one tablespoon at a time, waiting for each piece to be thoroughly mixed in before adding the next. Increase speed to medium-high and mix until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Drain the liquid from the cherries and stir in the candied citron, chocolate, pistachios, and cherries. Transfer the dough to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a cool oven to rise until almost tripled in size, 12 to 15 hours.

The next day, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Fold the edges of the dough towards the center to form a loose ball and place it into the panettone mold, seam side down. Cover the with a towel and let the dough rise at room temperature until it has risen to the top of the mold, 3-4 hours.

Just before the dough has finished rising preheat your oven to 350ºF. Then, just before baking brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake the panettone until deep golden brown and cooked through, 50-70 minutes.

As soon as the panettone is cool enough to handle, pierce a wooden skewer all the way through and hang the panettone upside down about 4 hours.  (I forgot to do this, but it is supposed to keep the panettone from collapsing as it cools.)

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with cherries

gluten free chocolate cake with cherries | apt 2b baking co
gluten free chocolate bundt cake with cherries-96680024.jpg
gluten free chocolate bundt cake with cherries-96680025.jpg
gluten free chocolate cake with cherries | apt 2b baking co

I am still pretty new to the gluten-free baking world, but I am having  a lot of fun figuring it out. I am starting slow, using tried and true recipes and pre-made flour blends, but I am getting ready to dive in and make my own blends...just as soon as I clear some space in the ol "pantry". This go-round was a classic recipe from Amanda Hesser, the Chocolate Dump-It Cake. I made a few swaps in the recipe, mainly buttermilk for the milk/vinegar combo she suggests (I assume for ease, because not everyone keeps buttermilk on hand) and I also added a bit more salt and some espresso powder to pump up the chocolate flavor. The result is a super tasty gluten-free chocolate cake that is pretty indistinguishable from a traditional chocolate bundt.

Amanda's version also has a simple frosting made from chocolate chips and sour cream, but I wanted to do something a little brighter with this cake. Enter this light and delicious whipped yogurt cream with cherries, which honestly would make an amazing breakfast, with a bit less sugar added in, of course. If you aren't a yogurt fan, a bit of  whipped cream or ice cream would be fab too. Choose your own chocolate cake adventure!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with cherries

Adapted just slightly from Amanda Hesser's Chocolate Dump-It Cake

Makes one, 9-inch bundt

This is a super-simple chocolate cake fit for just about any occasion. It comes together quickly, with minimal dishes and no electric mixer necessary which is just the kind of cake I like to make in the summer. The cherry topping is totally optional. Check out the link above for the original frosting recipe.

2 cups (400g) sugar

4 ounces (225g) unsweetened chocolate

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (or instant coffee powder)

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan

2 cups (260g) gluten free flour blend (I used Cup4Cup) or all purpose flour plus more for dusting the pan

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cherries

1 cup full fat or 2% Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup heavy cream

2-4 tablespoons sugar, to taste

1/2 cup chopped cherries

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extractPreheat the oven to 375ºF and arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan. 

In a 2- to 3-quart pot, mix the sugar, unsweetened chocolate, butter, espresso, and 1 cup of water together. Place over medium heat and stir occasionally until all of the ingredients have melted and are mostly emulsified. Let cool slightly off of the heat.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. 

When the chocolate mixture has cooled a bit, whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs. Gently whisk in the dry ingredients, being careful to not overmix.

Pour the batter into the tube pan and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

Just before serving, whisk the yogurt, cream, sugar, and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Fold in the cherries. Taste the mixture and add a bit more sugar if desired.

Let the cake cool completely then slice and serve with cherries if desired.


These cherries were sent to me by Hood River Cherry Company, but they didn't pay me for the post. The cherries were unbelievably good.

gluten free chocolate cake with cherries | apt 2b baking co