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These sweet little cakes make a lovely place-setting gift. Alternatively, slip them into stockings to be eaten on Christmas morning. You can make the dough on Christmas Eve, arrange it in the tin and leave, loosely covered with cling film, to prove overnight in the fridge. Bring up to room temperature before baking.
3 tbsp brandy or dark rum
75g candied mixed peel
75g glacé cherries, halved or quartered
1 lemon, zest
1 orange, zest
450g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
50g golden caster sugar
½ tsp fine salt
7g sachet easy bake yeast
1 large egg, beaten
2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp clear honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
75g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
125ml whole milk, plus 1 tbsp extra
icing sugar, for dusting
1 Put the raisins in a small pan with the brandy or rum and set over a low heat. Warm but do not allow it to boil, then remove from the heat and add the mixed peel, glacé cherries and lemon and orange zests. Set aside for 20 minutes to plump up, before starting the panettone dough.
2 Mix the flour in a large bowl with the caster sugar, salt and yeast until combined (use a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook to mix and knead, if liked). Make a well in the centre and add the whole egg, 1 egg yolk, the honey, vanilla and softened butter. Gently warm 125ml milk until just before boiling, then pour into the bowl, mixing with a wooden spoon until combined. Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface, using as little flour as possible, for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Knead in the soaked dried fruit and any excess liquid until thoroughly combined, then return to the bowl and cover with cling film. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, grease a deep 12-hole muffin tin with butter.
3 Scoop the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead again for 1 minute. Divide into 12 even-sized pieces, shape into neat balls, then place into the moulds of the prepared tin, smooth-side up. Loosely cover with greased cling film and leave to rise for about 1 hour, until really well risen and doubled in size again.
4 Preheat the oven to 170˚C, gas mark 3. Beat the remaining egg yolk with the 1 tbsp milk for the egg wash. Gently brush over the top of each panettone and leave to rise for another 10-15 minutes.
5 Bake in the bottom third of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until well risen and deep golden; if the tops start to brown too quickly, turn the oven down slightly (or cover with foil) for the final 5 minutes of cooking. Leave in the tin for 2 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar, to serve.
FYI: These are best eaten on the day of baking or can be gently reheated in the oven the following day.
This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Kitchen magazine. myWaitrose members can download the Waitrose Kitchen app edition for FREE. Find out more.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in December 2014.