Fiola’s White Chocolate Panettone Bread Pudding

Recipe from Corporate Pastry Chef Brandon Malzahn

This complex dessert is a showstopper for any holiday table but has a special place after Fiola’s Feast of the Seven Fishes. Producing this beauty make take some time, but all the elements may be made in advance and the cakes may be assembled and frozen up to two weeks ahead of your event. 

Makes 6 cakes, each cake serves 2 to 4 people  

Special Equipment: six 2-inch metal ring molds 

  •  Pannetone, preferably dried out or stale 
  • Vanilla Sauce  
  • White Chocolate Pudding Cream 
  • Grand Marnier Syrup 
  • Chocolate Glaze 
  • Optional - Whole hazelnuts toasted, skinned and dipped in spun sugar, strips of candied orange peel 

 If the Pannetone is fresh, toast it until dry. Slice the pannetone ¼-inch thick and, using a 2-inch ring mold as a guide (and cutter), stamp out 12 rounds of equal size. 

Vanilla Sauce  

  • 2-1/4 cups heavy cream 
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 vanilla bean 
  • 6 large egg yolks 

Heat cream, sugar, and vanilla bean until small bubbles form along the edge of the pan. 

Temper the egg yolks by adding just 1/2 cup of the warm cream to the yolks, and mix together. Whisk for about 2 minutes and return the mixture to the pot and, stirring with a silicone spatula, continue to cook on medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of the spatula. Remove from heat, and strain through a fine mesh strainer and set the bowl over another bowl filled with ice water to quickly cool   

White Chocolate Pudding Cream

  • 1-1/2 Cups Vanilla Sauce 
  • 1 packet powdered gelatin  
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, preferably Valrhona Ivory" 
  • 2 cups heavy cream  

Bloom the gelatin in ½ cup ice cold water for 5 minutes Whip the heavy cream with a hand or stand mixer until it forms soft peaks. 

Heat the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl stirring every 30 seconds until melted 

Heat the Vanilla Sauce and gelatin in a small saucepan or a microwave, about one minute, until the gelatin has dissolved completely. Add the white chocolate to the warm vanilla sauce mixture and stir thoroughly. Cool for 10 minutes then gently fold in the lightly whipped cream in 3 additions. 

Grand Marnier Syrup 

  • 1 cup water 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • Zest of one orange 
  • 1/4 teaspoons rose water 
  • 5 tablespoons Grand Marnier 

 Boil the water, sugar and zest together. Remove from the heat and add the rose water and the Grand Marnier. Strain the mixture. 

 Chocolate Ganache  

  • 1 cup heavy cream  
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped, prefarably Valrhona Ivory 

Heat the cream until small bubbles appear at the edges. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk the chocolate and cream to make a smooth satiny glaze. Pour over the cakes while still lukewarm. 

Assemble the Cake  

Line 2-inch metal rings with a crown of parchment paper, at least 2-inches above the rim of the ring  

Soak the circles of panettone in the Grand Marnier syrup and place in the bottom of each ring mold. Pipe or spoon the pudding cream on top of the cake half way up the ring. Cover with another circle of soaked panettone. 

Top the panettone with more pudding cream and level the top with an offset spatula Freeze the cakes overnight. 

Remove the rings from the cake, and peel off the parchment. Place cake on a rack over a baking sheet. Warm the glaze mixture in the microwave until runny and no more than lukewarm. Spoon the glaze over the cakes until competed coated. Place the cakes in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to dry the glaze. 

 Before serving, remove the cakes from the refrigerator and decorate with dried orange and candied hazelnuts, if desired. 

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