This is a great time to make this decadent dessert as there are many unsold Christmas panetones at your local grocery store. Buy a few extra cakes; they store well and will make wonderful Valentine desserts.
Don’t limit yourself to just strawberries. Any berry or fruit will taste good. The same goes for substituting the orange liqueur. You can also add layers of melted chocolate or Nutella in between each of the layers of the cake. There are plenty of ways to add variety and different tastes.
Panetone and mascarpone
- 3 eggs separated
- 6 Tbsps ( 90 mL) granulated sugar
- 16 ounces (475 g) Mascarpone
- Grated zest of 1 orange (optional) 2 Tbsp (30 mL) orange liqueur or Amaretto and more for brushing cake
- Pinch fine salt
- 1 Panetone cake, 750 g (1 1/2 lb)
- 2 cups (500 mL) hulled and thickly sliced strawberries (optional)
- 1 oz (30 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
- Toasted sliced almonds
- Sifted icing sugar
- TO MAKE THE MASCARPONE CREAM In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and 3 Tbsps (45 mL) sugar for about 1 to 2 minutes or until pale and beginning to thicken. Add the Mascarpone to the eggs and beat until well blended. Add the orange zest (if using) and liqueur, mix well, and set aside.
- In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. While beating, gradually add 3 Tbsp (45 mL) of sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg white mixture into the Mascarpone. Set aside in the refrigerator for about an hour.
- TO ASSEMBLE Slice the Panetone cake into 4 horizontal slices. Place the base of the cake on the bottom of serving platter. Brush cake slice with about 1 or 2 (15 to 30 mL) tablespoons of liqueur. Using a spatula or butter knife, top with a quarter of Mascarpone cream mixture and a quarter of strawberries (if using). Repeat with 2 more layers of each of cake placed on a slight diagonal, top with cream and strawberries.
- In a double boiler, stir the chocolate over hot (not boiling) water until melted. Drizzle over the cake. Garnish almonds and icing sugar. Serve.