Celebrate the Festive Season with Brazilian ‘Panetone’

Despite its roots as an Italian delicacy, many countries around the world have their own riff on the classic panettone. In particular, many Latin American countries love this fruit-filled sweet bread. We’re bringing you Chef Nello Cassese’s version, which adds chocolate for a special indulgent touch.

The much-loved panettone may originate hundreds of years ago in northern Italy, but it also boasts an elaborate culinary history. After a wave of Italian immigration to South America in the late 19th century, new versions began to pop up that included local fruits, chocolate and other tweaks to the classic recipe.

Known as ‘panetone’ in Brazilian Portuguese and ‘panetón’ in Spanish, the sweet bread has become one of the most popular Christmas foods in Brazil and across South America. In Peru it’s eaten on July Independence Day, while two of the world’s largest manufacturers of panettone — D’Onofrio and Bauducco — hail from South America.

Nello Cassese, Executive Chef at the Michelin-starred Ristorante Hotel Cipriani in Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, brings you his own panettone recipe below. Fluffy, fruity and utterly delicious, it’s the perfect centrepiece for your Christmas celebration this festive season.


Stage One

  • 2kg / 70 oz strong flour
  • 400g / 14 oz levain
  • 1.5l / 6⅓ cups water
  • 200g / 7 oz egg yolk
  • 1kg / 35 oz caster sugar
  • 550g / 19½ oz butter

Stage Two

  • 800g / 28 oz all-purpose flour
  • 500g / 17½ oz caster sugar
  • 30g / 1 oz salt
  • 700g / 24½ oz egg yolk
  • 800g / 28 oz butter
  • 10g / ⅓ oz malt
  • 300g / 10½ oz honey
  • 1kg / 35 oz raisins
  • 1.3kg / 46 oz cubed candied orange
  • 700g / 24½ oz dark chocolate


Stage One

  • Beat together the flour, sugar and levain. Leave to one side for the gluten to develop.
  • Add the yolk and butter and continue to mix until incorporated.
  • Leave the dough to rest for one day until it doubles in size.

Stage Two

  • Knock back the dough and add the remaining flour and the malt.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/365F/Gas mark 4.
  • Add the sugar and knead until absorbed. Then, add the remaining yolk to emulsify until smooth.
  • Add the last of the butter with the salt and honey. Finally, mix in the remaining ingredients.
  • Place the dough into a classic ‘cupola’ panettone mould and bake for around 35 minutes, or until golden.

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