The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough Cocoa Panettone with Dark Chocolate - a grand finale to holiday season

txfarmer's picture

Sourdough Cocoa Panettone with Dark Chocolate - a grand finale to holiday season

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

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This past holiday season was kinda crazy - a cross country move, a trip back to China, a new job, a new place to live, etc. etc. I did still squeeze in some holiday baking though, well, actually I only baked one holiday bread: the Francesco Elmi Traditional Sourdough Panettone I posted before, however I baked that bread many times. So many times that not only my friends and relatives around US and Canada got to taste it, I even carried 3 loaves back to China last month! Boy, did they go over well. My friends in China were nuts over it. It's not something commonly seen over there.

Even after New Year, I had another batch to make for Chinese New Year (coming up this weekend) as gifts. This time, I want to try something new, something better. But how to improve on perfection? Well, chocolate of course! Lots and lots of 70% Valrhona dark chocolate, in extravagantly big chunks. Oh Yeah.

The original recipe is from here (a google translated Italian baking forum post), I stuck pretty close to the original, but replaced raisins with more chocolate. In this formula, butter ratio is 48%, and yolk ratio is 41%, slightly less than the Francesco Elmi version (53% and 50% respectively), but the extra cocoa and chocolate make up for the richness.

I love sourdough panettone for it's complex flavor profile: richness from all the butter and yolk, with slightly sour note from the stater lingering in the background. In this version, dark chocolate adds another level of flavor, making the bread even more decadent and complex. With a thorough kneading, and proper(very long) fermentation, the crumb is tenderly soft, yet still a little "bouncy".

Two kinds of toppings: one was the chocoalte glaze from AB&P, the other one was scoring and hiding butter pieces underneath (from the forum post), both turned out delicious.

Even after stuffing more dough into the paper moulds than I should (1000g should be perfect, but I kept adding 1100g of dough into each mould because I want my friends to have more delicious breads to taste), I had some dough leftover. It turned out that <200g of dough was perfect for my Chinese cube pullman tin (baked with cover).

Wrapped up and ready to be shipped. This is probably the last batch this year. Time to get some rest and figure out what to do with 100+ egg whites I have in the freezer!


Kollin's picture


It would be really nice of you if you put together "The Complete and Ultimate Chocolate Panettone recipe"



SylviaH's picture

Very beautiful bake, and what a lovely intensely dark chocolate colored crumb.  I was looking at chocottone photos just last night...I thought they would make a lovely gift for Valentine's Day!  Very nicely done, txfarmer!  How lucky to recieve such a gift from you.  I also saw where they sold for over $50. each...and you know how much better homemade is : )  


txfarmer's picture

$50. I would believe it. At least the way I make it, $50 would be a very cheap price! Copious amount of best quality butter, chocolate, and egg yolks are in there. Between these panettones and the laminated breads I continue to work on, I should get wholesale price on butter! :P

bread lover's picture
bread lover

Did you use black Cocoa?  It is very dark for such little cocoa in the recipe.  Very Beautiful though.  I made mine a while back using cresci's book, and I didn't get such a beautiful color.  I am jealous lol.


txfarmer's picture

Yes, I used special dark dutch cocoa to get that intense dark color.

Janetcook's picture


Another beauty and one I am sure my kids would devour in no time at all.

Thanks for the link.  The translation was very 'colorful'.  I particularly liked the last line where she is describing how to hang the loaves after read, "...then quickly finish the somersault by placing it in a simulator of luck."  :-)

Thanks for the post!


lumos's picture

::drooooooools::  :p


Looks absolutely gorgeous with very dark colour.  How much cocoa powder did you add to the mix? 

EvaB's picture

tons of lovely coconut macaroons, not the fancy French ones, but simple ones, buy lots of stranded or medium coconut, whip the egg whites to semi stiff peaks, and stir in the coconut, drop by spoon or cookie measure onto parchement, bake in a 350-375F oven for 15 or so minutesor until a delicate brown appears in spots, cool on the parchement or racks, and eat.

Of course you can add flavouring, and sugar (I find only sweetened coconut in my stores so don't add any sugar) these can be covered in chocolate, or have a carmel coating, or........... leave it up to your imagination.

My problem is what do I do with the egg yolks I have left over from this little indulgence. The answer is gold cake! Both recipes are from a Magic Baking Powder book, which had prize winning recipes from probably around 1950 or so, the thin book, has fabulous recipes including Boston Cream Pie which is actually a chocolate cake filled with whipped cream and topped with more and has shaved chocolate on the top!

The recipe is 2 egg whites sparated, beat until stiff (you are supposed to add a cup of sugar, but like I said, it makes it killer sweet with sweetened coconut) adding a tiny pinch of cream of tarter if necessary, stir in around three cups of long or medium strand coconut, put onto the cookie sheets on parchment and bake at 350-375F or between 10-20 minutes or until delicately browned but not dark, let cool somewhat on the parchement, but take it loose before its dead cold (it will stick) the original recipe called for vanilla, but you could use almost any flavouring you wanted.

This is basically the filling for a lot of coconut based cookies or candy bars, (they probably don't use egg whites for storage reasons) so you could shape them into logs, or flatten them into cookie shapes and make all sorts of different goodies with them. I just love to eat them. Of course you have to watch the intake because they can be rough on the digestive system.

shericyng's picture

Can you tell me where you got your hazelnut paste? How much cocoa did you add. Can this be baked in reg loaf pans?Oh my gosh your amazing I love all your posts!!!

leona's picture

if you cant get manitoba or extra strong bread flour, could you add a quantity of gluten and if so, what ratio to flour?