Christmas Roundup Part I

Christmas is over–well that was a whirlwind.  I have spent the last little while not just uploading photos to the blog but also family photos! 

The Christmas baking wishlist got farther than I expected, and even though my personal “wishlist” was not all checked off I hardly think we needed more food.  Unfortunately our camera did not keep up with everything we made…

Rather than try to put it all in one post, I’ll break it out into a few (and build up some dramatic tension).  I also have some posting to do about knitting related matters–considering that knitting is a bigger hobby for me than cooking, it’s funny so far the turn my blog posts have taken.  Must be the holidays…

First I’ll go way back to the beginning of the week.  Friday night before Karen and my parents-in-law arrived, I made that cranberry ricotta cake from sassyradish that I’ve been talking about.  I was surprised at how springy the batter was though after emptying in the tub of ricotta I shouldn’t have been.  Nor should I have been surprised at how heavy the cake was going into the oven.   I baked it in my springform pan as even a regular 9 inch cake pan would not have been big enough.  My cake took a while to bake (though it shouldn’t happen the next time–we since learned that our oven is 25 degrees too low–thanks to buying an oven thermometer!) but came out well and was quite tasty.

Cranberry Ricotta Cake

I also made Natalizia (the “original Christmas Bread of Verona”) from Celebrating Italy as well as Pinza Friuliana (Epiphany bread from Friuli, made with polenta).  I got a photo of the Natalizia, which I loved.  For me it was just like the Pandoro sold in the gourmet shops, but moreso it has a certain sentimental value–I remember having a slice of pandoro with warm caffe latte every morning for breakfast while visiting my friend Raffaella’s over Christmas in Rome.  Pannetone is better known, but I love Pandoro–no embellishments necessary, I love the flavor and taste of the bread itself.  I guess that’s why on this recipe, the pine nuts are a nice decoration but I wouldn’t even bother the next time (but they are pretty, as I’ve tried to show).  And it’s really wonderful toasted and keeps pretty well (for a few days) if you wrap it up well.  I was especially happy to see that little E liked it as he stuffed it (literally) in his face.  I cooked one in a souffle mold and one in a brioche mold (which was a little small) but both baked up quite well.  The kitchen must have been warm as they rose wonderfully–no need to turn the oven into a proofing box.  Not so with the Pinza, but with all the weight of the polenta as well as the pine nuts and currents stuffed inside, it’s hardly surprising.  That was a bigger hit with everyone (except me) — maybe that’s why I didn’t manage to get any photos.

Natalizia--ready to be bakedNataliziaNatalizia detail


3 thoughts on “Christmas Roundup Part I

  1. Pingback: BBA Bread #24: Pannetone « Three Clever Sisters

  2. Pingback: Rhubarb Ricotta Cake | Three Clever SistersThree Clever Sisters

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