I and my family are getting ready for tonight’s Christmas Eve dinner.

I am in charge of the dessert. There is no Christmas in Italy without a panettone cake. So our dessert tonight will be a panettone, but not the usual one.

I admit I did not make the panettone myself as it is traditionally from Milan and we recently adopted in our Southern Italian’s Christmas celebration.

My father (who normally respects all local Puglian traditions) now loves panettone and asks for one every Christmas. Being my father so critic and picky with food (perhaps that explains why we are so picky as well!), the panettone cake has to be very special, artisan, made with the best ingredients. At the first bite he can tell if it is a good one.

Therefore, I asked a local pastry chef friend of mine to make one for me and my family.

Normally panettone is made of 00 flour (aka whole purpose flour), sugar, butter, among other ingredients.

All of you who have attended our events or activities in Italy or the US, know about our approach to food: food has to be not only very tasty, but also healthy, simple and made with super high quality ingredients (from very select artisans).

So we are totally in favor of good complex grains such as durum wheat, barley and farro. And we use the best olive oil for everything, even desserts.

So I asked the pastry chef to make a panettone with 100% farro flour, natural yeast, honey (and just a bit of sugar) and our Equilibrium Stile Mediterraneo extra virgin olive oil.

Instead of raisin, he used our own candied orange zest. On top he decorated with some toasted almonds and sugar.

Ok it is still a dessert, but it is Christmas and if we eat it in moderation it will be ok.

This is the first time we make this recipe so I still do not know the result. Tomorrow, I will be able to tell you how it was and most importantly, whether it passed my father’s test.

I wish all our friends and blog readers a very Merry Christmas and hope you can find an artisan panettone cake also in your country.