Fairtrade Walnut Panettone… disaster

So, I was feeling all christmassy and reminiscing about being back home (in Bolivia where I’m from) where it’s not Christmas until someone has given you a huge panettone, you didn’t want and probably don’t like very much!

Nonetheless it was wonderful to watch everyone leave their offices on Christmas Eve with the customary (and dare I say almost obligatory) box of panettone, a pretty dodgy bottle of wine and a whole chicken. I have lived abroad for too long to know if this still happens… but I certainly have very fond memories of this… especially when I proudly received them for the first time and my mum used them to make our family’s traditional Picana (a Christmas soup with several meats and several bottles of wine!) and so, I decided to give it a go…. how hard could it be?

I guess the fact that all the recipes and websites I came across almost encouraged you to opt for something else should have been a clue… but off I went and purchased my special panettone baking cases on line, some lovely Fairtrade walnuts from Traidcraft and I chose the easiest recipe I could find (with only one rising period) certain i would be able to pull it off.

Well… I don’t think I need words to describe what happened next… I’ll just show you.

Complete sticky mess.

Which I somehow managed to get into the (very expensive by the way) cases, and which simply failed to rise… AT ALL.. after 4 hours in the warm airing cupboard:

Still holding on to my optimism and thinking it couldn’t be that bad… after all -I had added loads of Amaretto to the recipe – so it could only taste great… I decided to still go ahead and bake them.

And when they came out… they didn’t look that bad…

But… don’t be fooled. The were foul. We all had a couple of mouthfuls of the weird sweet bready mess that could not be called a panettone… and to the bin the went.

What went wrong? well… I think I may have accidentally used 4 eggs and 3 extra yolks, rather than 3 eggs and 4 yolks… I guessed that 15 teaspoons of butter it would be half a pack…and finally because of all the flour I added while trying to knead the dough (sticky mess)… and Chris thinks that my addition of walnuts and amaretto might have had an effect as well… perhaps the alcohol killed the yeast?

Oh well… I guess I’ve learned my lesson… and after all, I admit it, I am one of many Bolivians, that don’t actually like it anyway!