Dessert

Pandoro Limoncé with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberries

Nicoletta December 16, 2016

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Pandoro Limoncé with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberries, a highly anticipated exquisite Christmas dessert, with its rich mascarpone whip cream, plump blueberries and lemon cream filled pandoro cake, beaming nothing but goodness on the festive Christmas table.

 Pandoro Limoncé with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberries

[This post is sponsored by Bauli Canada, makers of traditional Italian Holiday Treats. We’ve been compensated but all opinions are our own.]

Year after year, at my nonni (grandparents)’s place, Christmas Eve was magical. The small apartment in Rome filled with people, young and grown-ups, chats and laughter, wrapped presents under a small Christmas tree, and a beautiful table dressed for the occasion. In the kitchen, voices mingling and the smell of food cooking on the stove and in the oven permeating the air. The anticipation of the Pandoro limonce all filled and delicious, and its beauty, lingering with us all.

 

 

The magic was all around us and year after year, in the familiar place and faces, in certain foods and gestures, there was something that just made Christmas. On Christmas Eve, La Vigilia, according to a Catholic tradition, no meat should be served, and that is why, in our family, but also in not practicing Catholic families, Christmas Eve was a fish and seafood feast.  My nonna would make frittelli (fritters?) and they would always be the ones with cavolo nero (black kale), or baccalà (salted cod), or mela (apple). There would always be capitone (marinated eel) among the appetizers and although she was the only one eating it, we would always make sure it graced our tables. It just wouldn’t feel like Christmas without it. My nonna, mom and aunts would share the small kitchen preparing a banquet of fish and seafood dishes, from the antipasto di mare, to the pasta or risotto with seafood, followed by an oven baked fish, and frittura di pesce (fish fry), made mostly of calamari (squid rings) and gamberetti (shrimp) for the kids. Plus various side dishes and, of course, a plethora of desserts. Unlike here in north America, in Italy there is not much, or just a little, baking going on during Christmas time. My aunt would make struffoli and some cookies (wine ciambelline, hazelnut tozzetti and brutti e buoni), but mostly it would be a profusion of torrone (nougat), nuts, dried figs and dates, and the star of the show the always welcomed Panettone or Pandoro.

 Pandoro Limoncé with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberries

Pandoro Bauli was part of our family traditions. Its unmistakable, pink, package stood on top of my nonni‘s buffet table year after year, and it made Christmas, Christmas.  My family would have both, Pandoro and Panettone,  but the young ones (my brother and most of my cousins) preferred the Pandoro, not being fond of raisins and candied fruit, and although they made a version of Panettone without candied fruits and with chocolate chips instead of the raisins, Pandoro was still loved for its soft, buttery texture and the sweet icing sugar covering the slice, top, side and bottom. When my aunt started the tradition to slice it and fill the layers with whipping cream and chocolate shavings, Christmas became even more magical. We waited for her showing her latest piece of art and we welcomed it on our table among smiles, claps and loud noises that only if you’ve eaten around a table with many Italians you can understand. Pandoro layered and filled became our main Christmas Eve dessert, and all the other sweets were just co-stars while we were playing cards, or games, waiting for midnight to go to Mass.

 Pandoro Limoncé with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberries

So when Bauli Canada approached us to make a sponsored post featuring one of their products, my heart filled with joy at the memories it held for me. We chose Pandoro Limoncé, a Pandoro filled with delicate lemon liqueur-flavored cream, and dusted with lemon-flavored powdered sugar. A delightful holiday treat, that is a taste of today’s Italy. We wanted to give justice to an already delicious treat, creating a beautiful centerpiece for the Christmas table, a dessert that was stunning to look at and indulgent to eat. When thinking of the flavors that would well compliment each other, a blueberry compote came to mind, beautiful sweet compliment to the lemon flavor. As for the creaminess we relied on the indisputable taste of mascarpone and whipping cream. I opened the package from the bottom, in a gesture that I’ve done and seen so many times, taking out the well known treat in its plastic and the little package of icing sugar. Even icing the Pandoro is a ritual: you open the plastic, spread the icing, close the plastic and start shaking the pandoro to make sure all sides, top and bottom are covered in sugar. Then, you take it out of its plastic and slice it to eat like that, or, in our case, you slice it horizontally to prepare it for the filling and shaping.

With Loreto’s help, in a magical Sunday afternoon, we recreated my memories of an Italian Christmas, adapting to our time and place here, in Canada. We sliced the Pandoro, the very bottom part that we cut to level the cake, we cut in cubes and baked in the oven till crispy. Those were our crumbled topping. We made the blueberry compote, with frozen blueberries, maple syrup, bourbon vanilla powder, brown sugar and a touch of fruit juice. Then we made the mascarpone cream: mascarpone and icing sugar blended with whipped cream, a splash of vanilla and icing sugar. We tasted the single components and they were delicious. We were drooling in anticipation of tasting the finished product.

Pandoro Limoncè with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberries

The Pandoro Limoncé cake is cut into four sections. Each layer having a spreading of mascarpone whip cream and blueberry compote. The next layer is put on upside down, with the patterns matching. This creates a lot of texture and dimension. The final layer is the same except for the crumbled toasted pandoro sprinkled beautifully, and a nice mound of juicy blueberries in the center. If the juices run down don’t worry. It creates a wonderful effect.

 Pandoro Limoncé with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberries

This Pandoro Limoncé is amazing. The freshness of the blueberries, plump and sweet, nestled in that creamy smooth and billowy mascarpone cream delivering amazing  flavor of rich cream and vanilla, subtly sweet with the addition of the powdered sugar. The Pandor limoncé cake soft, moist, buttery, with those lemon cream hidden hits and that unmistakable exquisite taste. Bite after bite, licking the fork to get all that delectable cream and blueberry off.

So here you have it: Pandoro Limoncé with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberry. The taste of an Italian Christmas.

Buon Natale!

Song of the day: “Christmas Lights”, Coldplay.

Print
Pandoro Limoncè with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberries

Pandoro Limoncé with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberries

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Pandoro
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Pandoro Limoncé with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberries, a highly anticipated exquisite Christmas dessert, with its rich mascarpone whip cream, plump blueberries and lemon cream filled pandoro cake, beaming nothing but goodness on the festive Christmas table.


Ingredients

  • 1 Pandoro Limoncé

Mascarpone Cream:

  • 450 ml whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp icing sugar
  • 250 ml mascarpone
  • 1 Tbsp icing sugar

Blueberry compote:

  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tbsp fruit juice
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp bourbon vanilla powder
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Blend the mascarpone with the icing sugar, using a hand held blender, until smooth and creamy.
  2. Whip up the whip cream with some powdered sugar and vanilla, using again the hand held blender, until stiff peaks form.
  3. Pour whip cream into mascarpone mixture and blend until smooth with mixer.
  4. In a saute pan melt some butter and oil sugar, and fruit juice.
  5. Add blueberries and simmer till blueberries soften, and sauce thickens a bit. Set aside.
  6. Cut the pandoro into four sections.
  7. Cut a section of the bottom to level the cake out, and cut that into cube and bake in oven.
  8. When nice and toasted take out and set aside.
  9. Starting with the bottom section layer a nice amount of the mascarpone whip cream mixture.
  10. Drizzle some of the blueberry compote juice onto the cream and feather in with a skewer.
  11. Add the blueberries.
  12. The next layer turn upside down and put onto of the bottom layer with the mascarpone cream and blueberries, lining up the patterns.
  13. Again layer with mascarpone and blueberry compote, and place the next layer upside down matching patterns.
  14. The third layer is done the same.
  15. The final layer has a generous amount of the mascarpone whip cream mixture and a feathering of the blueberry compote juice.
  16. Crumble the toasted pandoro cubes, and sprinkle over the top.
  17. Take a good scoop of the blueberries and make a nice mound on top and in the center.
  18. Now get ready to serve, with some of the leftover blueberries drizzled over.
  19. Enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 8 persons

 Pandoro Limoncé with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberries

[This post is sponsored by Bauli Canada, makers of traditional Italian Holiday Treats. We’ve been compensated but all opinions are our own.]

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16 Comments

  • Reply Denise @ Urbnspice December 16, 2016 at 11:27 am

    This looks so delicious and what a wonderful display it makes!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 16, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks Denise! It really makes a beautiful festive centerpiece. But it’s also so good! 🙂

  • Reply Vicky Chin December 16, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Wow, what a stunning cake ! I love Pandoro cake ! Such a great idea to matching it up with blueberries and mascarpone ! Thanks for sharing !

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 16, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Thank you Vicky! So happy when somebody knows and likes Pandoro cakes! This was extremely good and beautiful to look at.

  • Reply annika December 16, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    After seeing the teaser on your Facebook page, I was looking forward to seeing this recipe. Wow, it’s gorgeous, as are the photos! But most of all, I enjoyed reading about your memories of Christmas in Italy. I think the memories that we have attached to certain foods are probably why we have such strong attachment to the food itself! In any case, thank you for sharing your beautiful memories and this lovely cake.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 17, 2016 at 7:09 am

      Thank you Annika! Family memories are very important to me and it’s my family that shaped me into who I am now. Glad you like this cake, it is absolutely beautiful and delicious. We love it! 🙂

  • Reply Hilary December 16, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    mmmm this cake looks like the perfect thing to serve either for Christmas dinner, or even brunch!! I love love love blueberries and mascarpone and that cake looks delicious! I’m guessing if we love Panettone, we’ll love Pandoro? 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 17, 2016 at 7:11 am

      Hey Hilary, thanks! I’m sure if you like Panettone, you’re going to love Pandoro. And served this way, with mascarpone cream and blueberry compote, you’ll have a beautiful presentation and a yummy dessert (or brunch 😉 ).

  • Reply Marie @ Yay! For Food December 17, 2016 at 1:27 am

    This cake looks so beautiful and delicious! Blueberries and Mascarpone cream on a buttery cake, my goodness.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 17, 2016 at 7:12 am

      Yes, you got the essence of this pandoro cake, Marie! Thanks so much!! 🙂

  • Reply Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop December 18, 2016 at 6:44 am

    This is beautiful! I can see why it was the star of your Christmas eve….it makes a lovely presentation. I love the filling and the blueberries! Happy Holidays 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 18, 2016 at 8:01 am

      Happy Holidays to you too Kathy! This pandoro is always a success when we present it on the Christmas table! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Cassie | Crumb Kitchen December 18, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Oh, this is so beautiful Nicoletta. It looks like the centrepiece on a table for a Christmas movie! (Strange comparison but I swear it’s true.) And such a lovely story of family cooking as well. Happy holidays!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 18, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Thank you so much Cassie! It isn’t a strange comparison, I like it 😉 ! Memories are so important to me and they inspire most of my cooking. Happy holidays to you as well!

  • Reply Sean December 19, 2016 at 10:07 am

    I wish I’d known about this a few years ago! I had no idea that these seasonal Italian cakes were a thing until I moved to Montreal. At Christmas, my lovely local market was stacked to the rafters with cakes, and I had no idea why. Fortunately, I was teaching adult ed, and MANY of my students were Italian-Canadians, and they filled me in. But I knew that they weren’t all created equal, so I had no idea where to get started. But this looks SO good… I mean, the mascarpone, and the cake, and the fruit… I love that it’s so fresh and delightful, and yet simplified by the delightful pandoro. I’m in love.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 19, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Thank you so much Sean for your comment! We love it, it was something new even for Loreto and now he said he can’t imagine a Christmas without it. The flavors were fantastic together and it made a gorgeous centerpiece! Hope you try a Pandoro cake this Christmas (even simple, not layered and filled).

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