Festive Treats: Stollen Bread and Penettone

[Penettone straight out of the oven!

[Pre-wrapped Stollen bread]

[The kneaded penettone dough and the dough in the mold before rising, and the dough in the mold after rising]

[Penettone with royal icing and strawberries for decoration]

[Stollen bread without icing sugar!]

[Stollen Bread with Icing sugar]

[The beautiful marble staircase leading down from the restaurant where the demonstration was held]

[The Empire Hotel is so gorgeous!]

[Chocolate Santa's at Zest bakery]

[Yummy gingerbread houses!]

As I have previously mentioned in another blog post, my mum and I attended a Festive Treats cookery demonstration at the Empire Hotel and Country Club. During the demonstration we were taught how to make Penettone, which is an Italian christmas cake and Stollen Bread, which is the German equivalent. Now, en contrare to what I consider to be a traditional christmas fruit cake, Stollen and Penettone were very different as they were both yeast based which made them appear to be much more bread like. I was slightly apprehensive at the thought of bread being considered a cake, however as the chef instructed us through the tutorial, all my worries disappeared as I understood the simplicity behind the process.
Unlike making a bread, you are not required to mix the yeast with sugar and warm water and let it rise but mix the yeast in with all the dry ingredients! Similarly though, after all the ingredients have been mixed together, the dough has to be kneaded for 25 minutes!!!! (I suggest using a stand alone mixer!) Following the initial knead, the dough has to sit and then be kneaded again, then sit and finally be added to whatever mold is necessary for the cake type.
Although Stollen and Penettone are completely different, the method is almost identical aside from the varied ingredients! 
Both cakes were amazing and surprisingly light regarding their bread like qualities! However, they do take alot of work so unless you have an extremely strong desire to make these mouthwatering treats, please feel free to comment or email me for the recipe!
Ellie Dickinsonfood