“This is a wonderful way to make use of a slightly stale panettone. You simply layer it with a thick almond and mascarpone buttercream, then decorate it like a cake. Once iced, it should really be eaten within a day.” – Skye McAlpine
250g salted butter, softened
500g icing sugar
320g mascarpone, at room temperature
100g ground almonds
1 panettone (about 1kg)
3 glacé cherries, to decorate
a small handful of bay leaves, to decorate
Beat the butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Sift in half the icing sugar and beat until well combined. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the mascarpone until just combined, taking care not to overbeat or the mixture will become grainy and lumpy. Stir in the ground almonds. Using a bread knife, slice off the ‘muffin top’ from the panettone to create a level surface; discard the trimmings (if I don’t gobble them up there and then, I cut them into small fingers to serve for breakfast or afternoon tea). Peel away the wrapping around the sides of the panettone, then cut horizontally through the middle with a bread knife to create 2 or 3 tiers of cake. How many will depend on the height of your panettone; some are a little taller and comfortably allow for 3 layers, while others are more squat and allow for 2.
Place the bottom layer of panettone on a cake stand or serving dish and spread a generous dollop of the mascarpone and almond cream on top. Top with the second layer of panettone (and repeat with a third layer, if you have one). Spread the last of the cream over the top and sides, then decorate with the glacé cherries and bay leaves.
Extract taken from A Table in Venice by Skye McAlpine | Bloomsbury Publishing £26 | Photographs by the author