It's always exciting to receive a package in the mail, so imagine how excited I was to get cake mailed to me!
I had never heard of Panettone before, but when I mentioned it to my wife, Jen, she was reminded of a trapezoidal shaped box. Apparently, this is the kind of thing she grew up with and these cakes are popular in the Italian grocery stores and delis in New York where she's from.
I only managed to get pictures of the Raisin Panettone. We were ravenous when we got home from errands and found the box on our porch. Needless to say we dug right into the chocolate chip one.
So, here's the comparison:
The raisin Panettone was more moist and sweet than the chocolate chip one. I was actually turned off by the thought of raisins when I opened it because I think of shriveled up dry, hard raisins such as the kind you find in Raisin Bran cereal. You just don't want dry, hard chewy bits in a moist, savory cake. The raisins ended up being sweet and tender - a perfect addition to the cake along with pieces of others types of fruit.
The chocolate chip Panettone was slightly bitter, and it didn't taste like it was because of using a bitter chocolate. The bitterness accompanied a slight film that coated my mouth - I don't know how else to describe it - it's an affect that allows me to always identify whether a cake has been store-bought or homemade. Don't get me wrong, it was still delicious, but when I buy a Panettone in the future I will definitely be choosing the raisin kind.
The bottom line is I like these cakes. I think they are a perfect dessert for any holiday occasion, brunch or Sunday breakfast, or any small family gathering.
They peel apart much like a cinnamon roll and also have a croisssant-like quality to them, and the dough carries a hint of perhaps orange extract and other spices (cinnamon, allspice, anise?) that makes it delectable without being overpowering.
I also like the way they are packaged. The distinctiveness of the trapezoidal box hints toward tradition - its uniqueness marks an occasion. Unsheathing the cake from its plastic bag and paper wrapping I envision as a ritualistic preparation while hungry onlookers anticipate their first bite of dessert with their coffee.
Fun stuff! Thanks to Bauducco and the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program for sending this to us. We enjoyed it very much!